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Olympic Swim Trials: An emotional Regan Smith qualifies for her first Olympics, headlining the third night

Regan Smith participates in the women's 100 backstroke during wave 2 of the U.S. Olympic Swim...
Regan Smith participates in the women's 100 backstroke during wave 2 of the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials on Tuesday, June 15, 2021, in Omaha, Neb. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)(Jeff Roberson | AP)
Updated: Jun. 15, 2021 at 10:59 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Regan Smith thought she blew it. She thought her first 50 meters in the 100-meter backstroke was too fast, and her lead would slip away at the end.

The 19-year-old was right: The first 50 meters was fast — to the tune of two-tenths of a second faster than the world record — but she hung on to win by more than two tenths at the opposite wall.

Regan makes her first Olympic games and it was almost hard for her to put it all into words afterward.

“Touching the wall was a shock and so much relief and so much happiness and it’s very surreal, it still hasn’t sunk, I’m very happy that race is behind me now,” said Smith.

Ryan Murphy won the men’s 100-meter backstroke by 15-hundredths of a second, a tight race for the gold medal winner in Rio. He will have a chance to defend.

Lilly King clinched her spot on the team by winning the 100-meter breaststroke, an event she currently holds the world record. King also won gold in the event in Rio.

Kieran Smith won the 200 free, but unlike most of the other races, the top four finishers in this race advance to Tokyo to race in the 4x200 meter relay, opposed to the top two. Kieran will be joined by Townley Haas, Drew Kibler and Andrew Seliskar.

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