Although it was a mere formality once he finished second in the 100-meter backstroke at the U.S. Olympic Trials last week, Ohio State junior swimmer Hunter Johnson was officially named an Olympian on Sunday evening.
Armstrong is the first Buckeye to make the U.S. Olympic swimming team since 1956, when Ford Kono, George Onekea, Yoshi Oyakawa and Albert Wiggins participated in the Melbourne Games. He is also program’s first Olympian since Dustin Tynes, who represented the Bahamas at the 2016 Rio Games.
“We are all just incredibly proud and happy for Hunter,” Ohio State director of swimming and diving Bill Dorenkott said. “Hunter is a proud Ohioan who has just continued to get better and better. Ohio State has a rich history of U.S. Olympians and medal winners, but it’s been a while since we had one, so this is a wonderful moment for Hunter, his hometown of Dover and for the Ohio State program.”
As mentioned, Armstrong finished the 100-meter backstroke in 54.48 seconds, trailing only defending and three-time Olympic gold medalist Ryan Murphy, who took the top spot with a time of 52.33 seconds. The two will now be teammates at the Tokyo Games next month.
“We are so incredibly thrilled for Hunter and the opportunity he now has to represent the United States at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics,” Dorenkott said. “He is swimming extremely well and is within striking distance of the world record (51.97 seconds set by Murphy in 2016). I think he will have some terrific Olympic Games swims.”
A native of Dover, Ohio, Armstrong began his college career at West Virginia but transferred to Ohio State ahead of the 2020-21 season. He finished second in the 100-meter backstroke and third in the 100-meter free at the Big Ten championships and qualified for the NCAA championships in the 50-meter free, 100-meter free and 100-meter backstroke earlier this spring.
Armstrong will head to Hawaii on June 27 for Team USA’s training camp before heading to Tokyo for the Olympics, which take place from July 23-Aug. 8. The swimming events run from July 24-Aug. 1.
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