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

Nicholas Santos

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 14: Nicholas Santos of Brazil celebrates winning Men’s 50m Butterfly Final on day two of the 2022 FINA World Short Course Swimming Championships at Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre on December 14, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

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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.

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