Hunter Armstrong and Claire Curzan have made history at the world swimming championships by winning the 100m backstroke gold medals, marking the first time the U.S. 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 the past two years. He overcame Spain’s Hugo Gonzalez by just two hundredths of a second to claim victory.
Curzan, who is just 19 years old, claimed her first individual world title with a personal best time of 58.29 seconds in Doha. The last time the U.S. swept the 100m back golds was in 2013 with Missy Franklin and Matt Grevers.
Notably absent 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, who both skipped this meet due to injury or other reasons. The U.S swimmers are currently preparing for June’s Olympic Trials where the top two in each event (top six in 100m and 200m freestyles for relays) will qualify for Paris.
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 10th at