Gold medalist Xu Jiayu of China competes during the men's 100m backstroke final at the Gwangju 2019 FINA World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea, July 23, 2019. (Xinhua/Xia Yifang)
GWANGJU, South Korea, July 23 (Xinhua) -- Defending champion Xu Jiayu of China won the gold medal in the men's 100m backstroke at the 18th FINA World Championships here on Tuesday.
Xu won the final in 52.43 seconds, followed by Evgeny Rylov of Russia in 52.67 and Mitchel Larkin of Australia in third.
The 23-year-old Xu secured his first 100m backstroke world title in Budapest two years ago, after winning a silver medal in the event at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
Ryan Murphy of the United States, winner in the Rio Games, finished in fourth, failing to reach the medal podium.