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Murphy, Shields Win Relay Gold, Weitzell Wins Silver in Relay

August 1, 2021

TOKYO – Ryan Murphy and Tom Shields earned gold medals in the final swimming event of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics as the United States won the men’s 4x100-meter medley relay in world-record fashion Saturday night (PT). The pair of golds brought California’s medal total to 12 as the swimming competition concluded.

Murphy, swimming the backstroke, put the Americans in charge with a 52.31 split on the opening leg. The U.S. erased a 12-year-old world record in the event (3:27.28) with a time of 3:26.78. Murphy was joined by Michael Andrew (breaststroke), Caeleb Dressel (butterfly) and Zach Apple (freestyle) on the world-record setting relay swim.

Despite not racing in the relay final, Shields earned gold for swimming the butterfly leg of the Americans’ prelims qualifier on Friday.

The golds won by Murphy and Shields are the first by Cal men’s swimmers in Tokyo; Murphy won bronze and silver in the 100 and 200 back events earlier this week. Murphy’s career Olympic medal total now stands at six (four gold, one silver, one bronze), putting him in rarefied air as one of three Cal men’s swimmers with as many, joining Matt Biondi (11) and Nathan Adrian (9). Shields is now a two-time Olympic medalist (both gold), having previously swam on the U.S. 4x100 medley relay during prelims at the 2016 Rio Games; the U.S. went on to win gold in the final, earning Shields his first medal five years ago.

The Cal men’s swimmers increased their all-time number of Olympic medals to 50 with the pair of golds Saturday night.

Eight Cal men’s swimmers – past, present and future – competed in Tokyo. Murphy (one gold, one silver, one bronze) and Shields (one gold) amassed four medals while the eight Golden Bears qualified for four individual finals, six individual semifinals and three relay finals.


4x100-Meter Medley Relay Final

1. USA (3:26.78) – gold medal, world record (Ryan Murphy – 52.31 backstroke split; Tom Shields 51.33 butterfly split in preliminaries)

For complete coverage of Cal men's swimming and diving, please follow the Bears on Twitter (@CalMenSwim), Instagram (@CalMenSwim) and Facebook (

Abbey Weitzeil Helps U.S. To Silver In Medley Relay
Golden Bear Earns Second Medal In Tokyo, Increases Career Total To Four Olympic Medals

TOKYO – Cal alum Abbey Weitzeil closed out the swimming portion of the Tokyo Olympics by anchoring the United States to a silver medal in the women's 400-meter medley relay, giving the Golden Bear her fourth all-time medal and second of these Games.
The U.S. stood in third place after the opening backstroke leg by Regan Smith. Breaststroker Lydia Jacoby sent the Americans to the front, and Torri Huske kept the team there following her butterfly leg. Weitzeil had a narrow 0.25 edge over Australia when she took over, and she engaged in a stroke-by-stroke battle with Cate Campbell one lane over. Although Weitzeil closed with a gutsy 52.49 split, the Aussies nipped the Americans at the wall by 0.13 seconds. Australia was timed in an Olympic-record 3:51.60 with the U.S. at 3:51.73 (also better than the previous Olympic record). Canada took third.
Earlier in the session, Weitzeil competed in her second individual final of the Olympics and placed eighth in the 50-meter free with a time of 24.41 seconds. She had set a lifetime best of 24.19 in the semifinals a day earlier to earn her spot in the race. Two days prior, Weitzeil also claimed a final berth in the 100 free final, taking eighth place, as well.
With a bronze medal from the 400 free relay on the first night of finals, Weitzeil returns to Berkeley with two medals from Tokyo. The hardware adds to her two medals from the 2016 Rio Games – silver in the 400 free relay and gold on the 400 medley relay.
In addition to Weitzeil, alum Katie McLaughlin helped the United States to a silver medal and American record in the 800-meter free relay during the Games. With the three combined medals in Tokyo, Cal women's swimmers increased their total to 51 all-time medals at the Olympics.

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