Australia's Mitch Larkin has won silver in the men's 200m backstroke in Rio

Picture: Getty Images

Australia’s Mitch Larkin has won silver in the men’s 200m backstroke in Rio.

Larkin was just a touch behind the USA’s Ryan Murphy at the final turn, but Murphy pulled away, leaving Larkin to fight off a late challenge from Russian Evgeny Rylov.

“I’m happy with silver to be honest, going in tonight all I wanted was to stand on the podium,” he said.

“When you’re swimming for Olympic medals, you tend to tense up a bit and I think I felt that a bit.”

Larkin’s swim was the highlight of what had so far been a subdued day for the Aussies in the pool.

Australia’s first genuine medal chance of the day came when Taylor McKeown stepped up for the women’s 200m breastroke.

It was the 21-year-old McKeown’s first Olympics, looking to add to the Commonwealth gold she won in this event in Glasgow in 2014 after qualifying fastest.

Picture: Getty Images

It had been 44 years since Australia won this event but McKeown was off the pace from the start and finished fifth, albeit just 0.15 seconds out of the medals.

“I’m just proud of myself for getting to this final. I probably panicked a little in that race, I was a little nervous,” she said.

In his quest to win Australia’s first medal in the men’s 50m freestyle, Cam McEvoy posted a disappointing semifinal time well outside his best for the year to finish seventh.

McEvoy again dodged questions about how well he was feeling.

“Physically I’m as well as I could be on the day, that’s sport and that’s the Olympics,” he said.

“I’m not one to throw out excuses for anything, I just get on with the job.”

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