At the world swimming championships, two American swimmers, Hunter Armstrong and Claire Curzan, captured gold medals in the 100m backstroke event. This marked the first time the U.S. has swept the golds in this event since 2013.
Claire Curzan, a 19-year-old from Florida, won her first individual world title by clocking a personal best time of 58.29 seconds in Doha. Meanwhile, Hunter Armstrong, who is 6-foot-8 and hails from California, earned his third world medal in the event after winning bronzes in previous years. He overtook Spain’s Hugo Gonzalez by just two hundredths of a second to win gold.
Notably missing from the championships were Thomas Ceccon of Italy and Kaylee McKeown of Australia, as well as the top U.S. backstrokers last year – world champion Ryan Murphy and silver medalist Regan Smith. However, both Armstrong and Curzan have made significant progress in their careers during this Olympic cycle.
Armstrong went from 19th in the nation in the 100m back in 2019 to taking second place to Murphy at last year’s trials. Similarly, Curzan placed 10th at the Olympics but has had a strong showing at this year’s World Championships.
South Korean Hwang Sun-Woo won gold in the men’s 200m freestyle with American Luke Hobson earning bronze – his first individual world medal ever. Italian Simona Quadarella won women’s 1500m free gold despite Katie Ledecky’s absence due to illness or injury (it wasn’t specified which). The World Championships continue with finals on Wednesday live on Peacock at 11 a.m ET