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Two Bears Surge Into 100 Backstroke Final

Jul 25, 2021
Reigning Olympic 100-meter backstroke champion Ryan Murphy enters Monday's final as the top seed.

TOKYO – Two of the eight spots in the 100-meter backstroke final at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games will be occupied by Golden Bears, as California's Ryan Murphy and Hugo González advanced through semifinal competition Sunday night (PT) at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre.
Murphy (USA), the reigning Olympic champion and world-record holder in the 100 back, led the pack with a 52.24-second finish in the first of two heats. González (Spain) touched in 53.05 for fourth in the second heat and seventh overall entering the final. It will be González's first career Olympic final; the Cal senior was a 200 back semifinalist at the 2016 Rio Games.
Murphy and González were 53.22 and 53.45 in preliminaries and entered the semis as the seventh and ninth seeds, respectively.
Cal post-graduate Zheng Quah (Singapore) was 53.94 in the 100 back prelims – just 15 tenths off of his national record (53.79) – and placed 22nd overall. Incoming freshman Robin Hanson (Sweden) was 23rd in the 200 freestyle heats with a 1:47.02 finish.
Quah will get a quick shot at redemption Monday morning (3:20 p.m. PT) in the 200 butterfly heats, his second of three individual events at the Olympics. Focus then shifts back to Murphy and González with Olympic gold on the line in the 100 back final at 6:59 p.m. PT Monday.
100-Meter Backstroke Semifinals
1. Ryan Murphy (USA), 52.24
7. Hugo González (Spain), 53.05
100-Meter Backstroke Heats
T7. Ryan Murphy (USA), 53.22
9. Hugo González (Spain), 53.45
22. Zheng Quah (Singapore), 53.94
200-Meter Freestyle Heats
23. Robin Hanson (Sweden), 1:47.02
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