Nic Fink finishes master’s degree, then wins short course swimming world title

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Americans Lilly KingKieran SmithNic Fink and Dakota Luther won individual titles on the third day of the six-day world short course swimming championships in Melbourne on Thursday.

King, the 2016 Olympic 100m breaststroke gold medalist, overtook Lithuanian Ruta Meilutyte, the 2012 Olympic 100m breast champion, in the last 10 meters of Thursday’s final. Short course worlds are held in 25-meter pools, while most other major international meets, like the Olympics, are in 50-meter pools.

Meilutyte was later disqualified for making more than one butterfly kick prior to the first breaststroke kick at the start. Race video is timestamped atop this post.

“In 2016, I was at [this] meet, and I thought I was invincible, and [Jamaican] Alia [Atkinson] played me like a fiddle and whipped my butt,” King said, according to World Aquatics. “I have had that sour taste in my mouth for the last six years, and it’s good to get the title back.”

Smith, the Tokyo Olympic 400m freestyle bronze medalist, earned his first individual global title by winning Thursday’s 400m free. He clocked 3 minutes, 34.38 seconds to break the longest-standing American record in an individual short course event — Peter Vanderkaay‘s mark from 2009.

Fink won the 100m breast, six months after taking bronze in the event at the world championships in a 50-meter pool. He touched in 55.88 seconds, while reigning world champion Nicolo Martinenghi of Italy took silver and reigning Olympic champion Adam Peaty of Great Britain earned bronze.

Fink later told Swimswam that he did his final submission for his master’s degree in computer and electrical engineering in between the morning prelims and evening finals Thursday.

Luther won the 200m butterfly a year after placing sixth in the event at the U.S. Olympic Trials. She led a U.S. one-two with Tokyo Olympic bronze medalist Hali Flickinger.

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

SHORT COURSE WORLDS: Full Results

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

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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.

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Germany goes 1-2 at bobsled worlds; Kaillie Humphries breaks medals record

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Kim Kalicki and Lisa Buckwitz gave Germany a one-two in the world bobsled championships two-woman event, while American Kaillie Humphries earned bronze to break the career medals record.

Kalicki, who was fourth at last year’s Olympics and leads this season’s World Cup standings, edged Buckwitz by five hundredths of a second combining times from four runs over the last two days in St. Moritz, Switzerland. Humphries, with push athlete Kaysha Love, was 51 hundredths behind.

Olympic champion Laura Nolte was in third place after two runs but crashed in the third run.

Humphries, 37 and a three-time Olympic champion between two-woman and monobob, earned her eighth world championships medal in the two-woman event. That broke her tie for the record of seven with retired German Sandra Kiriasis. Humphries is also the most decorated woman in world championships monobob, taking gold and silver in the two times it has been contested.

Humphries rolled her ankle after the first day of last week’s monobob, plus took months off training in the offseason while also doing two rounds of IVF.

“I chose to continue the IVF journey through the season which included a Lupron Depot shot the day before this race began,” she posted after her monobob silver last weekend. “My weight and body fluctuating all year with hormones, it was a battle to find my normal while competing again. I’m happy with this result, I came into it wanting a podium and we achieved it as a team.”

Love, who was seventh with Humphries in the Olympic two-woman event, began her transition to become a driver after the Games.

Worlds finish Sunday with the final two runs of the four-man event.

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