Swimming: Superstitious Murphy hoping for good Tokyo omens

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TOKYO (Reuters) – Fresh off the back of securing three gold medals at the 2018 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships in Tokyo, American swimmer Ryan Murphy hopes his success is a good omen for when he returns to the Japanese capital for the Olympic Games in two years time.

FILE PHOTO: Jul 28, 2018; Irvine, CA, USA; Ryan Murphy following his victory in the final of the mens 100 LC meter backstroke during the 2018 USA Swimming Phillips 66 National Championships swim meet at William Woolle Jr. Aquatic Center. Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Murphy, who is the world record holder in the 100 meters backstroke, proved imperious in Tokyo, winning both the 100 and 200m individual events before clinching his third gold of the meet in the 4x100m medley relay.

The three-time Olympic gold medalist says he hopes this success will be replicated at the Tokyo 2020 Games.

“Its really nice to be in Tokyo,” said Murphy.

“I just wanted to have a good meet here as I am a little superstitious and so wanted to have a good meet in Tokyo that hopefully bodes well for the Olympics in 2020.”

Murphy shared further secrets of his success, including having the same snack of a peanut butter and jam sandwich, a banana and Greek yogurt before every race.

“I have worn these socks for every major meet for the past four years,” he added.

“I get superstitious, like swimming well in a pool here will help me at the Olympic pool that is two blocks away.”

The Pan Pacific Championships were held at the Tatsumi International Swimming Centre, which will host water polo events at Tokyo 2020.

A new aquatics center is being built specifically for the Olympics less than a kilometer down the road.

Reporting by Jack Tarrant; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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