Ryan Murphy heads to third Olympics after trials win in 100 back

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Swimming veteran Ryan Murphy will be a three-time Olympian after winning the men’s 100-meter backstroke final at the U.S. Olympic trials at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Fastest off the blocks, 28-year-old Murphy led the entire race and finished with a time of 52.22, dropping about four tenths of a second off his semifinal time. He was the top seed going into the meet.

“I think I enjoy it a little bit more than I used to,” Murphy told NBC Sports afterward about his trials experience. “I used to feel like I was gonna throw up before every race. But now, I can take it in a little bit more.”

A six-time Olympic medalist from the 2016 Rio and 2021 Tokyo Games, including four gold medals, Murphy still has some time to drop if he wants to break his own American record of 51.85 from 2016.

Hunter Armstrong finished second in the 100 back final — and looked like he might have caught Murphy, if given a few more meters — with a time of 52.72 to qualify for his second Olympics. He finished ninth in the event at the Tokyo Games. The 23-year-old former Ohio State swimmer overcame a disastrous start in Monday’s semifinal that left him fighting to catch the rest of the field before finishing second and advancing to the final.

At the Olympic trials, 28-year-old Murphy is also entered in the 200-meter backstroke and the 100-meter butterfly — though he said competing in the latter would be a “game-time call.” Armstrong is expected to swim the 50-meter and 100-meter freestyle events.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Ryan Murphy wins Olympic trials 100 back, heads to third Olympics

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