Murphy gives American another Olympic sweep of backstroke

United States' Ryan Murphy, right, prepares to compete in the final of the men's 200-meter backstroke during the swimming competitions at the 2016 Summer Olympics, Thursday, Aug. 11, 2016, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

The Americans never seem to lose the men's backstroke at the Olympics, and Ryan Murphy kept that streak alive

RIO DE JANEIRO — The Americans never seem to lose the men's backstroke at the Olympics.

Ryan Murphy kept that streak alive.

The 21-year-old completed a backstroke sweep with a victory Thursday night in the 200 meters, extending his country's dominance of the events that goes back to 1992.

The Barcelona Games were the last time the United States lost a men's backstroke final.

Three days after winning the 100 back, Murphy touched first again in 1 minutes, 53.62 seconds.

Murphy became the third American man in the last five Olympics to take both races. Aaron Peirsol pulled off the sweep at Athens in 2004, while Lenny Krayzelburg claimed both golds at the 2000 Sydney Games.

Australia's Mitch Larkin grabbed the silver in 1:53.96, just ahead of Russia's Evgeny Rylov with the bronze in 1:53.97.

The Olympics came to an end for another U.S. backstroke champion.

Missy Franklin finished 14th in the semifinals of the women's 200 back— beating out only two other swimmers. It was a far cry from the London Games, where "Missy The Missile" became only the second American woman to take four gold medals in a single Olympics.

This time, she was limited to a single gold, which came for swimming the preliminaries of the 4x200 freestyle relay. Franklin failed to even make it to the final of her two individual events.

In the women's 200 breaststroke, Rie Kaneto of Japan pulled away from Yulia Efimova to take gold.

Kaneto grabbed the lead on the third of four laps and powered to the finish comfortably in front. The winning time was 2:20.30.

Efimova was 1.67 seconds behind, leaving the Russian with another silver medal. She also finished second to American Lilly King in the 100 breaststroke after initially being banned from the Rio Games for her links to the Russian doping scandal.

China's Shi Jinglin took the bronze in 2:28.28.

Australia's Taylor McKeown was top qualifier in the semifinals and grabbed the early lead. But she couldn't hang on, fading to fifth.

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Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963 . His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/paul-newberry .

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