Matt Grevers' trophy case has a new category: individual gold medal, world championships.
The swimmer from Northwestern and Lake Forest won the 100-meter backstroke at the World Short Course Championships (25-meter pool) Thursday in Istanbul.
Grevers clocked 49.89 seconds to beat Stanislav Donets of Russia by .02.
"The time wasn’t the best, but the place was, and that’s what matters," Grevers said.
Grevers was third at 50 meters, .21 behind Donets.
“I saw him ahead of me at the wall,” Grevers said. “His underwaters were better than mine, but I think my swimming was better than his. Luckily it ends with swimming, and I got to catch him."
Wednesday night, he had won gold on the U.S. 400-meter freestyle relay.
It has been that kind of gilded year for Grevers, 27. He won the 100 backstroke and swam the backstroke leg on the winning medley relay at the London Olympics, where he also earned a silver medal after swimming the heats of the freestyle relay.
Grevers admitted he felt pressure going into his first world championship as Olympic champion.
"You have a target on your back once you win the gold medal, and I like that," Grevers said. "But you also you don’t want to lose yoiur title here. It’s a lot of pressure."
Two other Chicago area swimmers picked up world short course medals Thursday. Conor Dwyer (Loyola / Winnetka) won gold swimming the second leg of the 4 x 200 free relay, the event in which he earned Olympic gold. Kevin Cordes (Neuqua Valley / Naperville) got bronze in the 100 breaststroke, his first international medal.
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