The world swimming championships in Doha have seen the United States sweep the gold medals in the 100m backstroke event for the first time since 2013. Hunter Armstrong and Claire Curzan each earned their respective golds, marking a significant achievement for American swimmers.
Hunter Armstrong, who is 6-foot-8, won his third world medal in this event after earning bronzes in previous years. He overtook Spain’s Hugo Gonzalez by just two hundredths of a second. On the other hand, Claire Curzan, at 19 years old, earned her first individual world title by clocking a personal best time of 58.29 seconds.
Notably absent from the championships were Thomas Ceccon of Italy and Kaylee McKeown of Australia, as well as last year’s top U.S. backstrokers Ryan Murphy and Regan Smith. However, both Armstrong and Curzan have shown great progress in their careers and are currently preparing for June’s Olympic Trials where they hope to qualify for Paris.
In the last Olympic cycle, Hunter Armstrong made significant strides in his swimming career, going from 19th in the nation to taking second place to Ryan Murphy at the trials. Similarly, Claire Curzan had a standout performance at the Olympics, placing 10th overall and has had a strong showing at this year’s World Championships.
South Korea’s Hwang Sun-Woo won the men’s 200m freestyle with a time of 1:44.75 while American Luke Hobson earned bronze – his first individual world medal – . Italian Simona Quadarella won the women’s 1500m free in 15:46.99 with Katie Ledecky absent from competition. The finals will continue on Wednesday live on Peacock at 11 am ET