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Top Ohio-Born Athletes at the Tokyo Olympics
The Tokyo Olympics are set to start on July 23, and Team USA has filled out its roster of over 600 competitors.
Ohio will be represented by 14 athletes across the disciplines of archery, boxing, cycling, rugby (men), soccer (women), swimming, track and field, and volleyball (men).
As talented as all of these incredible men and women are, there are a few in particular that are primed to make huge impacts on the USA’s fortunes at the most prestigious competition in the sporting world.
No. 1: Clayton Murphy, Men’s Track and Field
Clayton Murphy was a bronze medalist in the 800m at the 2016 Rio Olympics but began to struggle after, dealing with injuries and nagging ailments to different areas. The former Akron Zip left little room for doubt after a dominating performance at the U.S. Olympic Trials, however, in which he breezed past a deep field and ran the third-best time in the world this year, 1:43.17.
Murphy will be battling with Botswana’s Nigel Amos, a former Olympic Silver Medalist, and Kenya’s Emmanuel Korir, both of whom enter the Olympics ranked ahead of Murphy. The American champion uses his background as a 1500m runner to help him close races strong and will back himself to take Gold if he enters the final 150m shoulder-to-shoulder with the leader.
No. 2: Rose Lavelle, Women’s Soccer
The American women’s soccer team has appeared in the Gold Medal Match five out of the six times that the event has been in the Olympics, claiming Gold in four of these instances. However, the lone final without American representatives came in the most recent Olympics, and Team USA will be looking for revenge.
Rose Lavelle has been capped 56 times for the red, white and blue, scoring 14 goals and dishing nine assists in the process. She is a frequent member in the starting lineup, featuring as an advanced midfielder, and is an integral component to an attack that is one of the most feared in the world.
No. 3 Hunter Armstrong, Men’s Swimming
A sophomore at Ohio State, Armstrong punched his ticket to the Olympics by finishing second at the Trials and recording the fifth-fastest 100m backstroke time in American history (52.48). Armstrong’s incredible time came by virtue of his ridiculous closing length, nearly running down World Record-holder, Ryan Murphy, with the fastest 50m split in the field.
Armstrong’s appearance at the Olympics will be his first, but he will be expected to make the finals. If he can break into the medal race, his closing speed could help him chase down most men in the pool.
No. 4: Carlin Isles, Men’s Rugby
Isles is one of the most respected members of Team USA rugby, having recorded a national record of 202 tries. The defining mark of his game is his speed, which was emphasized by long-time Rugby commentator, Nigel Starmer-Smith.
“I've never seen anyone that quick on a rugby field ever,” said Starmer-Smith. Isles has shown no signs of slowing down, and his blistering pace will be vital to the Americans as they search for the Gold Medal.
No. 5: Maxwell Holt, Men’s Volleyball
Holt, a 6-foot-9 Middle Blocker for Team USA, is one of the most decorated members of the 600-plus roster. Across various international competitions, Holt has claimed four Gold Medals, two Silvers, and five Bronzes.
Holt has also been the recipient of the “Best Middle Blocker” award at five international tournaments since 2013 and is an anchor on the front of Team USA. He will be searching for his first Olympic Gold and second Medal, having claimed bronze at Rio in 2016.
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