U.S. swimmer Claire Curzan wins 4th gold at world championships

DOHA, Qatar -- Standout swimmers Claire Curzan of the United States and Pan Zhanle of China won their fourth gold medals at the world championships on Saturday.

Curzan was in control all the way through the 200-meter backstroke final as she won by 1.26 seconds from 17-year-old Australian Jaclyn Barclay. Curzan completed her set of backstroke gold medals after earlier winning the 50 and 100, plus the 4x100 mixed medley relay.

"I'm honestly just really happy to be done," she said. "I'm just happy with how I was able to swim and excited for what this means for the future."

Anastasiya Shkurdai, a Belarusian competing as a neutral athlete, won the bronze.

Pan and China won the 4x100 mixed freestyle relay, which isn't on the Olympic program, ahead of Australia and the U.S. There was another strong lead-off swim from Pan, who earlier in the championships swam the fastest 100 meters in history during the 4x100 men's freestyle relay. It was his third gold medal of the worlds in relays.

Ukraine's Vladyslav Bukhov produced the surprise of the night in the 50 freestyle when he upset last year's winner Cameron McEvoy to triumph.

Bukhov started slowly but timed his final reach for the wall perfectly to win in 21.44 seconds, beating McEvoy by .01. Ben Proud of Britain won the bronze.

Australia's McEvoy swum 21.13 seconds in the heats, .21 off the world record set by Cesar Cielo in 2009, but was slower in the semifinals and final. Ahead of the Olympics in Paris, "I would have liked to have gone a little bit better in the final but I've got to be happy with the three (swims) in total," McEvoy said.

Katie Ledecky's streak of world titles in the 800 free ended when Simona Quadarella of Italy took the gold - though Ledecky wasn't at the meet. Quadarella was neck and neck with Germany's Isabel Gose but beat her to touch the wall by .09 seconds. Erika Fairweather of New Zealand was third.

Quadarella won double gold in the long-distance events after her earlier victory in the 1,500.

Ledecky, who won the event six times in a row, is one of the many top swimmers skipping the worlds to focus on building to the Paris Olympics.

Portugal's Diogo Matos Ribeiro won the 100 butterfly to add to his gold medal from the 50 fly earlier in the championships. The silver went to Austria's Simon Bucher and bronze to Poland's Jakub Majerski. World champion Maxime Grousset and Olympic gold medalist Caeleb Dressel were absent.

Sarah Sjöström of Sweden won the 50 butterfly, a non-Olympic event, for the sixth time in a row at the worlds, ahead of France's Melanie Henique and Egypt's Farida Osman.


Croatia beat Italy in a shootout for the men's water polo gold medal after an 11-11 tie in regulation for its first world title since 2017.

Italy was on course to win until Croatia's Rino Buric scored with five seconds remaining to force the shootout.

Spain beat France 14-10 for the bronze.