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Ryan Murphy at the 2021 U.S. Olympic Team Swimming Trials. Photo: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

After taking home three gold medals and setting a world record at the Rio Olympics, swimmer Ryan Murphy was looking for a repeat at this year's Games.

The big picture: Murphy came in second in the 200-meter backstroke, which he'd won in the 2016 Rio Games. Murphy won a bronze earlier this week in the 100m backstroke, which he'd also won in 2016.

  • The road to the Tokyo wasn't necessarily smooth sailing for the 26 year-old. After the 2016 Olympics, Murphy took time to focus on finishing his education at UC Berkeley, and his "his swimming fell off," according to Team USA.
  • But after graduating in 2017, changing coaches and experimenting with new practice methods, Murphy's performance rebounded. In Tokyo, many analysts believed he was set for more gold.
What he's saying:
  • "It's definitely a mix of emotions," Murphy said on NBC after the 100m backstroke event. "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."
Tokyo medals:
  • 🥉- 100m backstroke
Previous Olympic Medals...

2016 Rio Games:

🥇 - 4x100 medley relay

🥇 - 100m backstroke

🥇 - 200m backstroke

World Record:
  • 100m backstroke (51.97)

Go deeper: Full Axios Olympics coverage

Editor's note: This article has been updated.

Go deeper

Sep 5, 2021 - Sports

U.S. beats China for Paralympics gold in women's sitting volleyball

Team USA's Alexis Shifflett serves the ball during the Tokyo Paralympic Games women's sitting volleyball pool match against Rwanda in Chiba, Japan, on Aug. 28. Photo: Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP via Getty Images

Team USA won gold in the Tokyo Paralympic Games women's sitting volleyball final on Sunday morning local time.

The big picture: The defending champions beat China 3-1 in the final. After the event was added to the Paralympics in 2004, China won the first three golds. The Americans' win took the U.S. Paralympic medals tally to 103, including 36 golds.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with details of China's previous wins in the event.

ICC authorizes full investigation into Duterte's deadly drugs war

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte speaks during a nation address at the House of Representatives in Manila in July . Photo: Lisa Marie David/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

The International Criminal Court (ICC) formally authorized on Wednesday an official investigation into alleged crimes against humanity during Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs.

Why it matters: Tens of thousands of people may have been killed in police drug operations in the Philippines since 2016, a United Nations report found last year.

California Democrats move to overhaul recall rules

California Gov. Gavin Newsom during a news conference in Oakland, Californiam on Wednesday. Photo: Stephen Lam/San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

California Democrats announced plans Wednesday to change the state's recall election rules, a day after Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) defeated a Republican-backed effort to remove him.

Why it matters: Newsom received 63.9% of the vote to stave off the challenge. State Democratic Assemblymember Marc Berman, who's helping lead the drive to overhaul the process, said in a statement that "a small minority of voters" shouldn't be able "to initiate a costly recall that wastes $276 million."