Cal at the Olympics: Ryan Murphy Takes Bronze in 100 Backstroke

America's run of six straight Olympic gold medals in this swimming event ends
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It's not often that an Olympic bronze medal amounts to a disappointment, but that was the case for former Cal swimmer Ryan Murphy, who was representing the United States.

Murphy, the world-record-holder and defending Olympic champion in the 100 backstroke, was looking to become just the fifth swimmer to win two Olympic gold medals in this event.

However, Murphy finished third in the 100 backstroke finals at the Tokyo Olympics on Monday night (Tuesday in Japan). His time of 52.19 seconds was 0.21 of a second  behind winner Evgeny Rylov of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) and just two-hundredths of a second (.02) behind silver medalist Kliment Kolesnikov, also of ROC.

"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 result ended the United States' streak of winning gold medals in this event in each of the past six Olympics.

Americans had also won both the 100 and 200 backstroke events in each of the past six Olympics, and Murphy still has an opportunity to capture the 200 backstroke gold later in the week.

Murphy captured three gold medals in Rio in 2016 -- the 100 and 200 backstroke and the 400 medley relay.

--Another former Cal swimmer, Hugo Gonzalez of Spain, was also in the 100 backstroke final, and he placed seventh, just eight-tenths of a second behind the winner.

--Great Britain's Alicia Wilson, who will be a senior at Cal in the fall, qualified for the finals in the 200 individual medley.

She placed third in her semifinal heat on Monday (Pacific time) and her time of 2:10.59 earned her the eighth and final berth in the finals.

Hooper, Cupido Help USA water polo win

Former Cal standouts Johnny Hooper and Luca Cupido combined for four goals -- three for Hooper and one for Cupido -- to help the United States to a dominating 20-3 victory over South Africa in a Group A water polo game.

The Americans are 2-0 in group play and have nearly clinched a berth in the quarterfinals. The top four finishers in each of the two six-team groups advances to the final eight.

Barrett, USA suffer rugby loss, but still advance

Former Golden Bear Danny Barrett was in the starting lineup for the United States squad that lost to South Africa 17-12 in Group A rugby sevens play. But the Americans still qualified for the quarterfinals and will face Great Britain in the knock-out round in a match that will start at 2 a.m. Tuesday Pacific time.

USA finished 2-1 in group play. The top two finishers in each of the three four-team groups along with the two best third-place finishers advanced to the quarterfinals.

Lily Zhang ousted in table tennis

Former Cal athlete Lily Zhang was eliminated in he third round of the women's table tennis event. She was beaten by Szu Yu Chen of Taipei 4-0 (11-8, 11-7, 11-6, 12-10).


 Cover photo of Ryan Murphy by Rob Schumacher, USA TODAY Network


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