US swimmer Matthew Grevers poses on the podium with the gold medal for the men's 100m backstroke swimming event at the London 2012 Olympic Games in the Aquatics Centre at the Olympic Park in London on July 30, 2012. AFP PHOTO / LEON NEALLEON NEAL/AFP/GettyImages
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Updated: July 30, 2012 6:27PM
LONDON — Matt Grevers kept the gold medals coming for the U.S. with a win in the men’s 100-meter backstroke Monday.
For good measure, Nick Thoman made it a 1-2 finish for the red, white and blue.
The 6-foot-8 Grevers pulled off a rally on his return lap, winning the 100 back in an Olympic-record 52.16 — the fifth straight games, dating to Atlanta in 1996, that the U.S. men have won the backstroke. Thoman joined his teammate on the medal podium at 52.97, a gold-silver finish they were thinking about all along and reiterated just before the final.
David Marsh, Thoman’s coach, brought it up right moments before they went out to the pool, saying “1-2.”
Grevers said he and Thoman knew they “weren’t jinxing anything,” and they were right, though Grevers didn’t notice right away that Americans took the top two spots.
“I must be selfish because it took me a good 10 seconds to realize he got second,” he quipped. “That’s something I should do right away. But when I noticed, that moment became much more special. To know that we can go 1-2 in that event, again really shows the USA’s dominance in backstroke right now when we’re able to step up.”
Japan’s Ryosuke Irie was third in 52.97.
“I’ve been watching the Olympics for as long as I can remember,” Thoman said. “The first one I really remember is the ‘92 Barcelona Games and just watching guys back then. Seeing Lenny Krayzelburg, my idol, and then Aaron Piersol, again my idol, who I got to train with for a little while. Just being able to carry on that tradition, it’s a great thing.”