At the world swimming championships, Hunter Armstrong and Claire Curzan both won gold medals in the 100m backstroke. This marked the first time the United States has swept the golds in this event since 2013. Armstrong, who stands at 6-foot-8, earned his third world medal in the event after winning bronzes in previous years. He beat Spain’s Hugo Gonzalez by just two hundredths of a second. On the other hand, Curzan, at 19 years old, earned her first individual world title by clocking a personal best time of 58.29 seconds.
Notably missing from the championships were world record holders Thomas Ceccon of Italy and Kaylee McKeown of Australia, as well as last year’s top U.S. backstrokers Ryan Murphy and Regan Smith. The U.S. swimmers are currently preparing for June’s Olympic Trials where they will try to qualify for Paris by finishing in 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 career by going from 19th in the nation to taking second place to Murphy at trials. Curzan was also a standout performer, placing 10th at the Olympics and having a strong showing at these World Championships. South Korean Hwang Sun-Woo won gold in men’s 200m freestyle with American Luke Hobson earning bronze, his first individual world medal. Italian Simona Quadarella won women’s 1500m free title with Katie Ledecky absent from competition