Although the storms from the previous day had passed, there seems to be no stopping dual World Champion Mitch Larkin who tonight struck like lightning, twice to take two titles on the second night of finals at the Victorian Open Championships at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre.
Larkin (1:59.31) demonstrated his versatility when he started the night with a win in the men’s 200m individual medley. An old favourite of Larkin’s he proved he is no one trick pony when he took the title ahead of a quality field in Kenneth To (Trinity Grammar, 2:01.40) and Justin James (Mackay, 2:01.76).
Then not long after, Larkin was back in the water for a crack at his pet event, the 200m backstroke. In typical Larkin form, the St Peters Western swimmer was streaks ahead of the field and touched the wall over two seconds clear of his fellow World Championship teammate Josh Beaver (Nunawading, 1:57.89) in 1:55.16 while the bronze medal went to Keelan Bridge of Sydney University who finished over five second behind Larkin in 2:00.97.
On February 5 and 6, Larkin will come up against tough backstroke competition when he races at the Perth Aquatic Super Series at HBF Stadium. With Japan and China both fielding strong teams, the 22-year-old will need to carry his speedy early season times into this meet.
In the women’s 100m backstroke it was Larkin’s training partner Madison Wilson who set the standard, stopping the clock at 59.22 to get the better of local Victorians Belinda Hocking (1:01.29) and Hayley Baker (1:01.52) and set the only sub-one-minute time in the field.
Wilson, the silver medallist from this event at the 2015 World Championships, along with Hocking were originally disqualified from the event after the heats and were then re-instated after officials analysed the video footage.
In the next event, another Wilson, this time Matthew Wilson picked up the win in the men’s 100m breaststroke final. Matt Wilson (SOPAC, 1:01.87), who will make his senior Australian Dolphins debut at the Perth Aquatic Super Series in February, finished comfortably ahead of Trinity Grammar teammates Kenneth To (1:02.15) and Matthew Treloar (1:02.39).
The Women’s 200m breaststroke final was a fight to the finish with the top three competitors all touching within half a second of each other. Taylor McKeown was the first to the wall in 2:25.42, a fingernail ahead of rising star Georgia Bohlin 2:25.62 with Chloe Tutton from Wales rounding out the top three in 2:25.82.
Bohl once again improved on her personal best, maintaining her spot in the Australian all-time top ten and will be a real contender for the breaststroke events come the national championships in April.
It was another tight finish in the men’s 200m freestyle final with the top three men all home in 1:48. Miami’s Daniel Smith continued his form from the heats to steal the win in 1:48.23 followed closely by Kurt Herzog in 1:48.45 with Stephen Milne from Scotland stopping the clock at 1:48.85 for third. In the women’s 400m freestyle, Bronte Barratt recorded a speedy 4:06.03, picking up the gold medal in the process and showing great fitness early in the swimming season. Bronze medallist in this event from the 2015 World Championships, Jessica Ashwood had to settle for second with a 4:08.00 with Leah Neale rounding out the top three in 4:11.18.
Top three results…
Men’s 200m Individual Medley
- Mitch Larkin, St Peters Western, 1:59.31
- Kenneth To, Trinity Grammar, 2:01.40
- Justin James, Mackay, 2:01.76
Men’s 400m Freestyle Multi Class
- Rowan Crothers, Yeronga Park, 4:12.90
- Timothy Disken, PLC Aquatic, 4:33.20
- Jesse Aungles, Marion SA, 4:49.81
Women’s 400m Freestyle Multi Class
- Monique Murphy, Vicentre, 4:45.81
- Jade Lucy, SLC, 4:57.27
- Amy Cook, SLC, 5:01.38
Men’s 800m Freestyle
- Ryan Cochrane, Canada, 7:56.11
- David McKeon, Chandler, 7:58.30
- Jack McLoughlin, Chandler, 8:05.40
Women’s 400m Freestyle
- Bronte Barratt, St Peters Western, 4:06.03
- Jessica Ashwood, Chandler, 4:08.00
- Leah Neale, Spartans, 4:11.18
Men’s 50m Butterfly
- Daniel Lester, Lawnton, 24.09
- Ryan Pini, Papua New Guinea, 24.13
- Cameron Jones, St Peters Western, 24.29
Women’s 100m Butterfly
- Emma McKeon, St Peters Western, 57.27
- Alicia Coutts, Redlands, 58.22
- Madeline Groves, St Peters Western, 58.70
Men’s 50m Butterfly Multi Class
- Jeremy Tidy, Nunawading, 27.39
- Jesse Reynolds, New Zealand, 30.36
- Patrick Getson, MLN, 34.29
Women’s 50m Butterfly Multi Class
- Emily Beecroft, Traralgon, 32.37
- Nikita Howarth, New Zealand, 36.54
- Bryall McPherson, New Zealand, 36.36
Men’s 200m Backstroke
- Mitch Larkin, St Peters Western, 1:55.16
- Joshua beaver, Nunawading, 1:57.89
- Keelan bridge, Sydney University, 2:00.97
Women’s 100m Backstroke
- Madison Wilson, St Peters Western, 59.22
- Belinda Hocking, Nunawading, 1:01.29
- Hayley Baker, Vicentre, 1:01.52
Men’s 100m Breaststroke
- Matthew Wilson, SOPAC, 1:01.87
- Kenneth To, Trinity Grammar, 1:02.15
- Matthew Treloar, Trinity Grammar, 1:02.39
Men’s 50m Freestyle Multi Class
- Joshua Alford, Tuggeranong Vikings, 25.20
- Jack Thomas, Wales, 25.22
- Timothy Disken, PLC Aquatic, 26.39
Women’s 50m Freestyle Multi Class
- Sophie Pascoe, New Zealand, 28.30
- Emily Beecroft, Traralgon, 30.03
- Ashleigh McConnell, Vicentre, 30.28
Women’s 200m Breaststroke
- Taylor McKeown, Spartans, 2:25.42
- Georgia Bohl, St Peters Western, 2:25.62
- Chloe Tutton, Wales, 2:25.82
Men’s 200m Freestyle
- Daniel Smith, Miami, 1:48.23
- Kurt Herzog, SOPAC, 1:48.45
- Stephen Milne, Scotland, 1:48.85
Women’s 50m Freestyle
- Kotuku Ngawati, Vicentre, 25.65
- Brianna Throssell, Perth City, 25.73
- Ami Matsuo, Ravenswood, 26.01
Men’s 100m Breaststroke Multi Class
- Aaron Moores, Wales, 1:08.78
- Ahmed Kelly, Vicentre, 1:53.66
- Matthew Ward, GTA, 1:15.38
Women’s 100m Breaststroke Multi Class
- Madeleine Scott, Canberra, 1:23.97
- Tanya Huebner, Vicentre, 1:44.10
- Hannah Britton, SYP, 1:22.56
Swimming Australia contributed this report.