Born September 7, 1993 in Buderim, Queensland, Mitchell “Mitch” Larkin is a 2012 London Olympian. A backstroke specialist who went on to finish 8th in the 200-meter backstroke in London, Larkin is also the 2015 World Championship gold medalist in the 100-meter back. In 2015 Larkin announced that he was teaming up with Arena.
Larkin first jumped onto the junior swimming scene in 2010, when he represented Australia on the Junior Pan Pacs Team. The backstroke specialist showed some versatility with a gold medal win in the 400-meter IM, a silver in the 200-meter IM and a bronze in the 200-meter back. He also competed at Oceania, which was held in Apia, Samoa. Larkin picked up four golds and a silver medal.
Shanghai World Championships
Just one year after breaking out onto the junior swimming arena, Larkin quickly made the jump to senior competition. In 2011 he qualified for the World Championship Team in the 200-meter back, 400-meter IM and the 200-meter IM. Although he didn’t make it to the medal podium or to a championship final, it was just the start of Larkin’s career.
In 2012 Larkin qualified for Australia’s 2012 London Olympic Team in the 200-meter backstroke. After advancing from the semi’s, Larkin made it into the championship final in London. He finished 8th overall in London, making his first Olympic final debut.
After the Olympics Larkin qualified for his second World Championships of his career this time in Barcelona. Although he finished 8th at last year’s Olympics, Larkin only came in 23rd in the 200-meter back. He had some redemption however, because Larkin took gold in the 100-meter back at the Short Course World Championships in addition to a bronze-medal finish in the 200-meter.
In the same year Larkin also swam at Pan Pacs, where he picked up a bronze medal in the 200-meter back and the 4×100-meter medley relay. He followed up that performance with a gold-medal swim in the 200-meter back at the Commonwealth Games. Larkin also picked up a silver in the 50 and 100-meter back as well as the 4×100-meter medley relay.
2015 World Championships
Larkin qualified for the 2015 World Championships in Kazan in the backstroke events. Coming off of a strong year in 2014, Larkin was more than prepared going into Kazan. In the 200-meter back Larkin took out the event strong, and hit the 100-meter mark in 2nd. His last half of the 200-meter back was where he won the event, and he even took first by an entire second. In his second event, the 100-meter back, Larkin had stiff competition. With renowned sprinters in his heat, Larkin knew he had to rely on his back-half to earn him the win. He took out the first 50 quick, in 2nd place, and powered his way him to touch in first by just .08 seconds.