Doha 2024, Day 7 North America Recap: Curzan Matches McKeown With 3-for-3 Backstroke Sweep


Day 7 Finals Recap

Just as Australia’s Kaylee McKeown did in 2023 Fukuoka, USA’s Claire Curzan has swept the 50/100/200 backstroke events at LC Worlds, officially the second woman to accomplish this feat. Curzan now accompanies teammate Nic Fink as the second American swimmer and third 2024 Doha swimmers to either win or medal in all three distances of a single non-freestyle stroke discipline.

Curzan won the women’s 200 back final in a sub-2:06 personal best of 2:05.77, making her No. 11 all-time performer and jumps from 11th to 5th on the all-time US performers list. Her previous personal best sat at 2:06.35 from 2023 US Nationals.

Curzan’s new personal best is now less than a second off the current PBs of Tokyo Olympic finalists Phoebe Bacon (2:05.08) and Rhyan White (2:05.13). Just 2.42s stands between Curzan and Regan Smith‘s American record of 2:03.35.

Top 10 All-Time US Performers – LCM Women’s 200 Back

  1. Regan Smith, 2:03.35 (2019)
  2. Missy Franklin, 2:04.06 (2012)
  3. Phoebe Bacon, 2:05.08 (2022)
  4. Rhyan White, 2:05.13 (2022)
  5. Claire Curzan, 2:05.77 (2024)
  6. Maya DiRado, 2:05.99 (2016)
  7. Margaret Hoelzer, 2:06.09 (2008)
  8. Kathleen Baker, 2:06.14 (2018)
  9. Elizabeth Beisel, 2:06.18 (2012)
  10. Elizabeth Pelton, 2:06.29 (2013)

This is now Curzan’s third individual gold here. Add those to her individual 100 fly silver and double mixed relay medals (gold, bronze), that brings her to six medals here in Doha. Should Curzan swim the women’s 400 medley relay tomorrow, she has the potential to earn a seventh Worlds medal. So far, she has earned one medal more than her five-medal score at 2022 Budapest. In 2019 Gwangju, American Simone Manuel became the first woman to earn seven medals at a single LC Worlds meet.

Curzan was back in action in the mixed 4×100 free relay, swimming the third leg to contribute to a fitting third-place bronze medal finish. Curzan had the 8th-fastest sub-54 female split at 53.82, while teammate Kate Douglass was one of three women to split sub-53 (52.83). Meanwhile, Hunter Armstrong led off in a personal best of 47.83 while Matt King followed up with a 47.78, giving Team USA an early second-place start.

Along with Curzan earning medal No. 6, Douglass picked up a fourth medal in Doha, Armstrong is now a five-time medalist, and King snagged his second relay bronze of this meet.

Before earning another relay medal, Douglass was setting herself up into medal contention for the women’s 50 free final. Douglass placed third in semi-finals at 24.24, just 0.05s off her prelims personal best of 24.19, which demolished her former 2023 US Open best of 24.38. That prelims best moved Douglass from No. 8 to the No. 5 US performer in history, just 0.02s off No. 4 Claire Curzan‘s 24.17 lifetime best. Douglass is also now the 22nd-fastest performer in history.

Top 10 All-Time US Performers – LCM Women’s 50 Free

  1. Simone Manuel, 23.97 (2017)
  2. Abbey Weitzeil, 24.00 (2023)
  3. Dara Torres, 24.07 (2008)
  4. Claire Curzan, 24.17 (2021)
  5. Kate Douglass, 24.19 (2024)
  6. Amanda Weir, 24.23 (2009)
  7. Gretchen Walsh, 24.31 (2023)
  8. Erika Brown, 24.38 (2022)
  9. Madison Kennedy, 24.39 (2016)
  10. Torri Huske, 24.41 (2023)

After qualifying 15th in the women’s 50 breast semi-finals at 31.09, 17-year-old American Piper Enge dropped 0.56s from prelims to place fourth into the final with a two-tenths personal best of 30.53. That time makes her the 12th-fastest US performer in history, as well as No. 51 performer all-time. On the all-time 18&U US rankings since 2009, Enge is the third-fastest performer behind 2022 Lydia Jacoby (30.53) and 2009 Worlds finalist Kasey Carlson (30.34). Enge is now faster than 2015 Lilly King and 2017 Emily Weiss‘ 17-18 bests of 30.78.

Top 12 All-Time US Performers – LCM Women’s 50 Breast

  1. Lilly King, 29.40 (2017)
  2. Molly Hannis, 29.71 (2018)
  3. Jessica Hardy, 29.80 (2009)
  4. Lydia Jacoby, 29.81 (2023)
  5. Breeja Larson, 29.95 (2013)
  6. Katie Meili, 29.99 (2017)
  7. Rebecca Soni, 30.11 (2009)
  8. Kasey Carlson/Kaitlyn Dobler, 30.34 (2009/2022)
  9. Megan Jendrick, 30.40 (2009)
  10. Skyler Smith, 30.41 (2023)
  11. Piper Enge, 30.53 (2024)

Individual 100 back champion Hunter Armstrong of the US is on his way to defending his 2023 50 back title, cruising to second seed (24.43) behind Oceanian record holder Isaac Cooper of Australia (24.12). Fellow American Michael Andrew qualified for his third 5o event final by placing seventh at 24.70. Previously in the men’s 50 free final, Andrew fought to a fourth-place finish at 21.71, keeping all three of his 50 free swims within a tenth of each other following 21.78 prelims and 21.77 semi-finals.


  • Team Canada placed a valiant fourth in the mixed 4×100 free relay, consisting of Finlay Knox (48.79), Javier Acevedo (47.58), Taylor Ruck (53.28), and Rebecca Smith (54.14). Ruck had the fifth-fastest sub-54 split of 16 female relay swimmers.
  • Two-time Olympian Ruck also qualified 8th into the women’s 50 free final at 24.72.
  • After another American qualified 8th into a Doha final, Zach Harting moved up two spots to place sixth in the men’s 100 fly final at 51.68, just 0.17s outside his 51.51 personal best.
  • Canada’s Sophie Angus, 100 breast finalist earlier in the meet, placed 12th in the women’s 50 breast semi-finals at 30.87.

North American Medals Table Through Day 7

United States 7 4 6 17
Canada 1 1 4 6

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1 month ago

Yay Claire!<3

Steve Nolan
1 month ago



1 month ago

It’s wild that Curzan has been 24.1 in the 50 free too

Beginner Swimmer at 25
1 month ago

Curzan >>> McKeown

Reply to  Beginner Swimmer at 25
1 month ago

Okay crazy.

Reply to  Beginner Swimmer at 25
1 month ago

Why you mad. Cause Mckeown dominated Smith in 2023 and is favourite in Paris

Steve Nolan
Reply to  Beginner Swimmer at 25
1 month ago

Winning all the backstrokes AND medaling in another event?? Unprecedented.

Reply to  Steve Nolan
1 month ago

I know Steve loves to troll, but McKeown would have medaled in the IM as well if not for an unevenly officiated semi. And Fukuoka was much more competitive than Doha.

1 month ago

The 50m backstroke final is his third final of the meet. He didn’t make it to the final in the 50m breaststroke (11th in semis).

About Nick Pecoraro

Nick Pecoraro

Nick has had the passion for swimming since his first dive in the water in middle school, immediately falling for breaststroke. Nick had expanded to IM events in his late teens, helping foster a short, but memorable NCAA Div III swim experience at Calvin University. While working on his B.A. …

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