Spotlight on Local Olympians: Hunter Armstrong of Dover

A 20-year-old sophomore at Ohio State University will compete in the men’s 100m backstroke in Tokyo.

Columbus, Ohio – Hunter Armstrong admits he didn’t think he was here.

“None of us really expected it,” he says. “It was a surprise to all of us.”

But as the cliché continues, that’s why you play the game, or in this case swim the race. Armstrong’s Olympic dream is about to come true.

Relation: July 21 Tokyo Olympics live broadcast (Wednesday)

The 20-year-old from Dover won a ticket to Tokyo after finishing second in the men’s 100m backstroke at the US Olympic trials last month. His second time of 52.48 was personally the best and placed him just ahead of three-time NCAA Champion Shaine Casas, who was very popular in team building.

“My goal for the Olympic trial was to finish in the top six,” Armstrong recalled in an interview with 3News. “I wanted to make an American national team, but everyone says the first try is the hardest, so I just wanted to go out there and have fun.”

At first Armstrong seemed to finish close to the back of the puck, and halfway through he ended up in the extreme seventh. But as he explains, he’s always been a fullback and a slow charge in the final 50 yards allowed him to catch near winner and gold medalist Ryan Murphy. ..

“I was definitely too late,” Armstrong said, adding that he was trying to stay next to Murphy in the lane right next to Murphy (no easy task). “I noticed that I was quite late. I had to make a reservation.

Armstrong didn’t often doubt his abilities, but he was one of the youngest contestants on the trial and said, “I didn’t expect this to happen anytime soon.” His performance led to a celebration among his family and teammates, and also earned money with his idols.

“”[Two-time gold medalist] Caeleb Dressel waved and introduced himself, ”Armstrong said. And I said, “Caleb Dressel knows who I am!”

In forming an Olympic team, Armstrong became the first male swimmer in the United States at Ohio State University since 1956. It’s a characteristic that makes him feel “honored.” It now also serves as an inspiration for those returning to Tuscarawas County. There he won the Tornados twice in the United States and runner-up.

“I left the pool after 100 backstrokes, and there were a lot of small children outside,” he said. “I signed the first panel and had him take a picture. I think, ‘It’s my life now. I don’t want to be disappointed, ”so I will continue to do my best.

Armstrong’s best time now ranks him fourth in the world and is the main battle for the podium. His first Olympic pool appearance comes on Sunday morning (EST) in the 100-meter wave, followed by that night’s semi-finals and Monday’s finals.

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Spotlight on Local Olympians: Hunter Armstrong of Dover

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