Hunter Armstrong Pulls Out Of 100 Back At Short Course Worlds: Psych Sheets


The biggest storyline to reveal itself in the official psych sheets for the upcoming World Short Course Swimming Championships is the absence of US backstroker Hunter Armstrong. Armstrong was originally named to the team to swim the 100 backstroke, having qualified for the Olympic Games in that event earlier this year. He does not appear, however, on the list of entries for the meet, which is set to begin on Thursday, and will not be swimming any relays either. Check out the full psych sheets for the meet here:

Psych Sheets

While it’s unclear at this time if Armstrong’s withdrawal is related to COVID-19, we have confirmed that it is due to medical reasons.

Armstrong recently raced at the Ohio State Invitational. There he placed 2nd in the 100 backstroke with a 45.82 in the 100 backstroke short course yards and delivered a 21.16 50 backstroke relay leadoff. Armstrong had a solid Olympic debut earlier this year, placing 9th overall in the 100 backstroke with a 53.21 semi-final swim. He also won Olympic gold for his prelim swim in the men’s 4×100 medley relay where he swam a 53.51 for the Americans.

In addition to having recently raced, Armstrong was present at the Golden Goggle awards ceremony in Miami, Florida just last week alongside the majority of his fellow Tokyo Olympians and fellow World Short Course Swimming Championships team members. Armstrong posted an Instagram photo from the award ceremony, writing “Now off to Abu Dhabi” to finish off the caption, indicating that as of 6 days ago he was expecting to compete.

The fact that Armstrong has pulled out is of particular significance considering the fact that he was entered to race the 100 backstroke for the USA. American swimmer Coleman Stewart broke the short course world record in the 100 backstroke earlier this year and was subsequently not selected to race for the USA in Abu Dhabi due to the long course meters-based selection criteria.

Stewart was publicly critical of the selection process and USA Swimming for the decision as the world’s fastest man in the history of the event. Armstrong and former Texas A&M star Shaine Casas were selected to the team; Casas getting a spot after top-ranked Ryan Murphy turned down a spot on the team. Casas is still expected to race this week in Abu Dhabi.

Armstrong is the only American swimmer who was scratched from the meet, though he wasn’t the only scratch. Torri Huske has been withdrawn from the individual 200 free after the original American roster included her name. As it turns out, her only FINA “A” standard time, which is required for the Americans to enter two swimmers in the event, came at the 2021 18 & Under Cup, which is not a FINA-sanctioned World Championship qualifying event.

She still has individual entries in the 100 free, 50 fly, 100 fly, and likely at least a few relay duties.

Armstrong is the most recent swimmer to pull out of the Championships, following South Africans Matt Sates and Tatjana Schoenmaker, Italy’s Fabio Scozzoli, Abbie Wood of Great Britain, Brazil’s Felipe Lima, and Victor Johansson of Sweden.

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tea rex
11 months ago

Torri Huske was named for the 200 free, and USA Swimming found out she wasn’t eligible the week of the meet??? smh…

Reply to  tea rex
11 months ago

Literally should have put Bella Sims in 200/400/800. She would dominate.

11 months ago

This story is not accurate. Torri huske did not pull out of the 200M Free. Torri qualified for the 200M Free based on her 1:58.09 “A” time in the 2021 18 & U Spring Championship meet (22021 TYR 18&U Spring Cup). For whatever reason, that meet was not sactioned by Fina. So that time was not accepted. Her next best time of 1:59.27 in the Olympic Trials is a “B” time. In this meet, if a country has 2 swimmers, they both must have “A” times to swim. Otherwise they cannot swim. Why a championship meet was not Fina sanctioned is a mystery.

Reply to  Tom
11 months ago

Because the Spring Cup was not a championship meet.

USA Swimming is only allowed to designate a certain number of events as a Fina sanctioned meet. Do you think they should have used their FINA sanctioned allotments on an in season 18 Under meet with Futures cuts rather than the Pro Series meets, US Open, or Trials?

Last edited 11 months ago by Coach
Reply to  Tom
11 months ago

This is a reply to Coach. Maybe SwimSwam has it wrong. The SwimSwam article from March 6, 2021 states, “The TYR 18&U Spring Cup meets were held last weekend at the 5 sites, creating an opportunity for a competitive championship meet for 18&U swimmers at large regional sites.” Maybe you forgot, during Covid last year there were very few chances for many swimmers to race. So you are saying that USA Swimming had only 3 meets it could sanction during a swim year? That does indeed change everything. If that is the case, we may have problems with this next year since since we have the US Open, Phillips 66 International Team Trials and Phillips 66 the National Championships. That… Read more »

11 months ago

The short course WC’s have always had weak fields and the many withdrawals this time around have made it weaker than usual. A radical overhaul of FINA’s short course events is needed. I can’t say I have all the answers but perhaps the WC’s. can be held six or so months before the Olympics and the World Cup series shortened to get a better concentration of talent.

Ol' Longhorn
11 months ago
11 months ago

Hard to refer to winners as “World Champions” when so many swimmers are inexplicably left out of the meet. Shame on Team USA. Time for change!

11 months ago

Hope Hunter feels better and recovers.

Also hope USA Swimming does a better job with SC Worlds selection in the future, no disrespect to Hunter.

11 months ago

he is out due to covid positive.. other swimmers there are infected as well and has to be quarantined (and out of competition) based on the local health guidelines

Reply to  johan
11 months ago

I don’t believe he was vaccinated during the olympics, I really hope he was this time.

Reply to  Jackman
11 months ago

He got the vaccine in between trials and the Olympics

Curious swimmer
Reply to  Klorn8d
11 months ago

Why did he join MA at the pre camp if that’s the case? Just curious

Reply to  Curious swimmer
11 months ago

Might have to do with waiting 2 weeks after vaccination before being considering fully vaccinated.

Reply to  johan
11 months ago

Is this confirmed?

Reply to  johan
11 months ago

Im pretty sure if there was covid on the team, they wouldn’t be competing. They have to get tested too I’d hope.

Steve Nolan
11 months ago

And for my next trick, I’ll make myself disappear.

11 months ago