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U.S. men take gold, silver in 100 backstroke

Aaron Peirsol of the United States wins the gold in men’s 100-meter backstroke in world record.
Image:  Aaron Peirsol and Matt Grevers
U.S. swimmer Aaron Peirsol, left, reacts after the men's 100m backstroke swimming final as Matt Grevers of the U.S., who took silver, looks on at the National Aquatics Center in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games on Aug. 12.Timothy Clary / AFP - Getty Images
/ Source: The Associated Press

Aaron Peirsol has won the men’s Olympic 100-meter backstroke, defending his title with a world-record time and extending the United States’ dominance of the event.

Peirsol touched in 52.54 seconds, lowering his old mark of 52.89 set at last month’s U.S. trials.

Teammate Matt Grevers earned the silver in 53.11. Arkady Vyatchanin of Russia and Hayden Stoeckel of Australia tied for the bronze in 53.18.

The U.S. has won the men’s 100 back at four consecutive Olympics, with Peirsol taking the title in Athens in a time that was 0.17 second slower.