Mitch Larkin Breaks 200 Back World Record, First Under 1:46

Photo Courtesy: R-Sport / MIA Rossiya Segodnya

It took only 1:45.63 for Mitch Larkin to become Swimming Australia’s first individual world record holder in six years at the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre tonight.

The 22-year-old from Brisbane unleashed a dream swim in the 200m backstroke on a record breaking night three at the Hancock Prospecting Australian Short Course Championships which saw one World, two Australian, two Commonwealth and five Australian All-Comers records fall.

Many swimming pundits were quick to describe the night as a return to the glory days.

Larkin capped off what he described as “an amazing 12 months” with his first world record to go alongside his three world championships and a whirlwind record-breaking World Cup series.

He is now without a doubt the hottest backstroker in the world – with number one world rankings in both the 100 and 200m long course and 100 and 200m short course and a swag of records to boot.

Larkin was at his silky smooth best through the first 50 metres in 24.46 and when he turned in 51.35 at the 100m mark the world record of 1:46.11 set by Russia’s Arkady Vyatchanin in the “supersuit” year of 2009 was very much under fire.

He continued to open up a commanding lead with superb underwater skills on every turn to split 1:18.42, coming home over the final 50m in 27.21.

The last world record set by an Australian was by Christian Sprenger in the 200m breaststroke at the 2009 FINA World Championships in Rome.

The last world records set in Australia were back in 2008 to Eamon Sullivan, Libby Trickett and Stephanie Rice at the Olympic trials, all at the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre – dubbed the “Pool of Dreams” through the 1999 Pan Pacs and 2000 Olympics and 2004 and 2008 Olympic Trials.

The very much down-to-earth, considered Larkin was excited with his swim but still measured in his thoughtful answers with the media straight after his swim.

“The plan is always to improve,” said Larkin, “This morning was cruisey and I said I would be happy with a 1:46 really, really low and if things went really well a 1:45.

“I didn’t think I was that quick tonight; some of my turns were a little bit out and I didn’t really hit all of them but I’m really happy with that.

“You look back on the year and you think did that really happen in six months? It’s just amazing.

“I asked my coach Michael Bohl what have I done differently? How am I swimming that fast now?

“He attributes that to a bit of confidence and I got that from Kazan at the World Championships.

“It’s something you always dream of and I’m in a bit of shock to be honest. To finally realise that I’ve done it.

“It is short course and I would really like a long course world record but there are steps to that and it’s a major goal.

“It’s incredible, hopefully the ball keeps rolling and on to Rio and maybe a couple of years after that as well.”

In other record breaking swims:

CAM MCEVOY broke Ian Thorpe’s 15-year-old Australian record; his own Australian all comers record and equalled Canadian Brent Hayden’s Commonwealth record in a time of 1:40.80.

It was McEvoy’s first Australian open record and he was quick to admit he was “flat” in his warm up, saying: “I got in the water and felt pretty flat, really down and different to my normal self in the warm up and I thought to myself this might turn into a survival swim, we’ll see how it goes in the last 100m.”

And on breaking Thorpe’s record? “To give Ian credit he didn’t swim too many short course competitions. I’m pretty sure he did that record when he was still a teenager (Thorpe was 17 in 2000) and he most likely would have swum quicker than that in the latter part of his career but I’m still going to take it. It still makes me feel nice to have my first Australian record.”

EMILY SEEBOHM continued on her record breaking ways to set a new Australian All-Comers record in a time of 55.46 in the women’s 100m backstroke, to go with her Commonwealth and Australian records in the 200m last night.

The dual long course world champion said: “In short course swimming it comes down to making sure your skills are 100 percent and tonight they probably weren’t and that’s where it hurt me but I was really happy with my 200 last night and certainly not disappointed tonight.

“I know where I can improve in my long course as well and it’s good feedback to have as well.

“It’s been a strong year for me and if I can continue that on for next year then I’ll be happy.”

CATE CAMPBELL followed up her nail-biting win in the 100m freestyle from last night with another cliff-hanger over sister Bronte in the 50m final tonight. Cate lowered Libby Trickett’s 2007 Australian All-Comers mark of 23.77 to 23.64 with Bronte touching in 23.79 for second and Emma McKeon 24.24 third while;

JESSICA ASHWOOD became the second swimmer in the last 10 years behind Laura Crockart in 2011 to win the 400, 800 and 1500m treble when she won the 400m in a new Australian All-Comers record of 3:59.23 – only the third Australian to go under the four minute mark, behind Blair Evans and Kylie Palmer.

“The boys in my squad were teasing me that I better swim under four minutes so that certainly became the goal and I was pretty happy to get under it and shown them.

“I didn’t realise what the  Australian record was until I looked up after the race and saw it on the scoreboard but to get the Australian All-Comers is also pretty good.

“To win the treble (400, 800 and 1500m) was the goal but you always want to do better but I have to be happy with those results.

“I always want to improve and swim faster and that’s what keeps you going. I’ve still got the 200m in the morning.”

And other winners on the night were:

–          Women’s Multi Class 100m butterfly, Taylor Corry (Nelson Bay NSW) 1:09.10

–          Men’s Multi Class 100m butterfly, Mitchell Kilduff (MLC Marlins NSW)

–          Men’s Multi Class 100m backstroke, Sean Russo (MLC Marlins NSW) 59.24

–          Women’s Multi Class 100m backstroke, Ellie Cole, 1:08.26

–          Women’s 100m IM, Alicia Coutts (Redlands QLD) 58.95

–          Men’s 200m IM, Justin James (Mackay QLD) 1:55.12

–          Women’s 200m breaststroke, Sally Hunter (Marion SA), 2:19.23

–          Men’s 100m breaststroke, Jake Packard (USC QLD) 58.41

–          Women’s 100m butterfly, Madeline Groves (St Peters Western QLD), 55.93

–          Men’s 50m butterfly, David Morgan (TSS Aquatics QLD) 22.83

–          Women’s Multi Class 50m breaststroke, Tiffany Thomas-Kane (Ravenswood NSW), 44.70

–          Men’s Multi Class 50m breaststroke, Richard Eliason (Ginninderra ACT) 31.03

–          Men’s 4x200m freestyle relay, Jacob Hansford, Vincent Dai, Kurt Herzog, Hayden Hinds-Sydenham (SOPAC NSW) 7:04.88

–          Women’s 4x200m freestyle relay, Madeline Groves, Bronte Barratt, Georgia Bohl, Madison Wilson (St Peters Western QLD) 7:56.2

Swimming Australia contributed this report.

11 Comments

11 comments

  1. Amber A Hargrove

    ?wow holy wow!!! ? keep up the hard work. Probably not the only record he’s about to smash!

  2. Susan Marsh

    Thanks for that one! All sounds good around u, Auntie is coming for a visit,will be nice to see her.

Author: Jason Marsteller

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Jason Marsteller is the general manager of digital properties at Swimming World. He joined Swimming World in June 2006 as the managing editor after previous stints as a media relations professional at Indiana University, the University of Tennessee, Southern Utah University and the Utah Summer Games.

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