Ryan Murphy takes bronze in men's 100m backstroke

Ryan Murphy of Team United States prepares to compete in the Men's 100m Backstroke Final on day four of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre.
Ryan Murphy of Team United States prepares to compete in the Men's 100m Backstroke Final on day four of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre.

Ryan Murphy did not defend his 100m backstroke gold medal from the Rio 2016 Olympics despite a very good performance on the biggest stage.

Murphy claimed bronze just behind a pair of athletes from the Russian Olympic Committee amongst a deep field of contenders, finishing in 52.19.

Evgeniy Rylov took gold in 51.98 while Kliment Kolesnikov won silver in 52.00.

"It's definitely a mix of emotions," Murphy said on NBC after the swim. "Being third in the world is no shame but obviously you want to go out there and win. That was the best I had this day. Hats off to the Russian guys."

The Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, native was bidding to become the third American to go back-to-back in the 100 back the Olympics after Warren Kealoha (1920-24) and Murphy's boyhood hero, Aaron Piersol (2004-08).

Murphy entered the games also the defending champion in the 200m backstroke, and can still claim consecutive golds.