World champ wins 100 backstroke

Updated: August 17, 2004, 5:26 AM ET
Associated Press

ATHENS, Greece -- Aaron Peirsol won the Olympic 100-meter backstroke Monday night, keeping the gold in the American column for the third consecutive Olympics.

Peirsol, the reigning world champion from Irvine, Calif., finished first in 54.06 seconds. He was under teammate Lenny Krayzelburg's world-record mark of 53.60 after 50 meters, but fell off the pace.

Markus Rogan of Austria earned the silver medal in 54.35, while Tomomi Morita of Japan took bronze in 54.36.

Krayzelburg, the defending Olympic champion from Studio City, Calif., was fourth with a time of 54.38. Matt Welsh of Australia, who won silver at the Sydney Games, was fifth in 54.52.

Peirsol finished second to Krayzelburg in the 200 back four years ago.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press