Ryan Murphy, Torri Huske, 42-year-old win world short course swimming titles

Nicholas Santos
Getty
0 Comments

Ryan Murphy added another backstroke title, while 42-year-old Nicholas Santos of Brazil ended his career by winning a fourth gold medal in the 50m butterfly at the world short course swimming championships in Melbourne, Australia.

Murphy, who swept the backstrokes at the 2016 Olympics, won the 100m back at short course worlds in 48.50 seconds, the second-fastest time in history in a 25-meter pool. Most major international meets, including the Olympics, are in 50-meter pools.

Murphy prevailed over a field that lacked Tokyo Olympic 100m back champion Yevgeny Rylov (banned along with all Russian swimmers for the war in Ukraine) and Italian Thomas Ceccon. Ceccon, who broke the world record in winning the world title in June (50-meter pool), is swimming other events at short course worlds.

In the hour before Wednesday’s 100m back final, Murphy led off a mixed-gender 4x50m medley relay that took gold, provided a drug-testing sample and attended a medal ceremony. He also told Swimswam that he was out of the water for the week of Thanksgiving with the flu.

Santos, a 50m butterfly specialist, said after winning a third consecutive title in the event that it was his last career race. Santos swam at the Olympics in 2008 and 2012, but the 50m fly is not on the Olympic program.

“I am getting old and leaving this to the young guys,” Santos said, according to World Aquatics.

American Torri Huske tied for gold in the women’s 50m fly with Maggie Mac Neil, the Olympic 100m fly champion from Canada.

Short course worlds run through Sunday.

The U.S. roster is headlined by individual Olympic gold medalists Murphy and Lilly King, plus Huske, who earned six medals June’s worlds in Budapest (50-meter pool), and Claire Curzan, who won five medals in Budapest.

Curzan tied for bronze in the women’s 100m back on Wednesday.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Birk Irving, last man on Olympic team, extends breakout season with Mammoth win

0 Comments

One year ago, Birk Irving was the last man to make the four-man U.S. Olympic ski halfpipe team. Since, he continued to climb the ranks in arguably the nation’s strongest discipline across skiing and snowboarding.

Irving earned his second World Cup win this season, taking the U.S. Grand Prix at Mammoth Mountain, California, on Friday.

Irving posted a 94-point final run, edging Canadian Brendan Mackay by one point. David Wise, the two-time Olympic champion who won his fifth X Games Aspen title last Sunday, was third.

A tribute was held to 2015 World champion Kyle Smaine, a U.S. halfpipe skier who died in an avalanche in Japan last Sunday.

“We’re all skiing the best we have because we’re all skiing with Kyle in our hearts,” Irving said, according to U.S. Ski and Snowboard. “We’re skiing for him, and we know he’s looking down on us. We miss you Kyle. We love you. Thank you for keeping us safe in the pipe today.”

Irving also won the U.S. Grand Prix at Copper Mountain, Colorado, on Dec. 17. Plus, the 23-year-old from Colorado had his best career X Games Aspen finish last Sunday, taking second.

The next major event is the world championships in Georgia (the country, not the state) in early March. Irving was third at the last worlds in 2021, then fifth at the Olympics last February.

The U.S. has been the strongest nation in men’s ski halfpipe since it debuted at the Olympics in 2014. Wise won the first two gold medals. Alex Ferreira won silver and bronze at the last two Olympics. Aaron Blunck is a world champion and X Games champion.

Irving is younger than all of them and has beaten all of them at multiple competitions this season.

New Zealand’s Nico Porteous, the reigning Olympic gold medalist, hasn’t competed since the Games after undergoing offseason knee surgery.

In snowboarding events at Mammoth, Americans Julia Marino and Lyon Farrell earned slopestyle wins by posting the top qualification scores. The finals were canceled due to wind.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Shaunae Miller-Uibo, Olympic 400m champion, announces pregnancy

0 Comments

Bahamian Shaunae Miller-Uibo, the two-time reigning Olympic 400m champion, announced she is pregnant with her first child.

“New Year, New Blessing,” she posted on social media with husband Maicel Uibo, the 2019 World Championships silver medalist in the decathlon for Estonia. “We can’t wait to meet our little bundle of joy.”

Miller-Uibo, 28, followed her repeat Olympic title in Tokyo by winning her first world indoor and outdoor titles last year.

Also last year, Miller-Uibo said she planned to drop the 400m and focus on the 200m going into the 2024 Paris Games rather than possibly bid to become the first woman to win the same individual Olympic running event three times.

She has plenty of experience in the 200m, making her world championships debut in that event in 2013 and placing fourth. She earned 200m bronze at the 2017 Worlds, was the world’s fastest woman in the event in 2019 and petitioned for a Tokyo Olympic schedule change to make a 200m-400m double easier. The petition was unsuccessful.

She did both races anyway, finishing last in the 200m final, 1.7 seconds behind the penultimate finisher on the same day of the 400m first round.

She did not race the 200m at last July’s worlds, where the 200m and 400m overlapped.

Notable moms to win individual Olympic sprint titles include American Wilma Rudolph, who swept the 100m, 200m and 4x100m at the 1960 Rome Olympics two years after having daughter Yolanda.

And Dutchwoman Fanny Blankers-Koen, who won four gold medals at the 1948 London Olympics, when the mother of two also held world records in the high jump and long jump, two events in which she didn’t compete at those Games.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!