Mitch Larkin of Australia has set a new Oceania and Australian Record of 52.50 in the heats of 100m Backstroke on Day 2 of the World Championships in Kazan. In doing so he has moved into the Top 10 of all-time for this event globally.
The previous National and Continental record of 52.97 was held by fellow Australian Hayden Stoeckel, who set the time at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Larkin took part in the 2012 London Olympics but really showed his potential with 200m Backstroke Gold and 50m & 100m Backstroke Silver at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. He continued that into the fall short course season where he broke the Australian and Oceania records in both the 100 and 200 backstrokes over short course meters, and while he didn’t match his best times, won the 100 backstroke World Championship in Doha in December.
The 22-year old is going from strength to strength under Coach Michael Bohl at St Peters Western Club in QLD.
The World Record for this event of 51.94 is held by the legendary USA Swimmer Aaron Piersol. Whilst Larkin and his contemporaries are still a way off with 0.56 to go, let’s not forget this was a heat swim.
Oceania Swimming is a continental governing body which includes Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Islands as member National Federations, and all but 5 of the records in long course are held by Australians.