At the world swimming championships, Hunter Armstrong and Claire Curzan both won the 100m backstroke gold medals. This marked the first time the U.S. has swept the golds in this event since 2013. Armstrong, who is 6-foot-8, earned his third world medal in the event after winning bronzes in the previous years. He overtook Spain’s Hugo Gonzalez by two hundredths of a second to claim victory. Curzan, at just 19 years old, earned her first individual world title by clocking a personal best time of 58.29 seconds in Doha.
Notably missing from the championships were 100m back world record holders Thomas Ceccon of Italy and Kaylee McKeown of Australia, as well as the top U.S. backstrokers last year, world champion Ryan Murphy and world silver medalist Regan Smith. The U.S swimmers are currently preparing for June’s Olympic Trials where they hope to qualify for Paris as the top two in each event (top six in 100m and 200m freestyles for relays).
In the last Olympic cycle, Armstrong made significant progress in his swimming career, going from 19th in the nation in the 100m back in 2019 to taking second place to Murphy at trials. Curzan was also a standout performer, placing tenth at the Olympics and has had a strong showing at this year’s World Championships