Larkin, Fastest Aussie 200 IMer Ever May Opt Out Of The Event


After already producing his fastest 100m backstroke effort since 2015 in a gold medal-winning 52.38 here in Brisbane, 25-year-old St. Peters Western Olympic medalist Mitch Larkin truly threw down something special in the men’s 200m IM event.

Already holding the Aussie National Record with the 1:56.21 at last year’s Pan Pacific Championships, Larkin delved into entirely new territory, registering a world #1 mark of 1:55.72 to add his 2nd World Championships individual qualifying event.

Now the question is whether or not Larkin will actually swim this 200m IM in Gwangju and at the Olympics. Holding himself as a backstroking ace first and foremost, Larkin is looking ahead to how the IM may interfere with his pet events and he may not want to sacrifice his love for what he considers ‘a bit of fun.’

“If there wasn’t a clash I would consider it a lot more,” he said. “To do both I don’t want to jeopardise one. At Olympics you have to put all your eggs in one basket.

“If I did (both medley and backstroke) and it wasn’t the best I would look back and regret it.” (Yahoo)

According to the World Championships schedule published in February, if Larkin were to swim the 100m back, 200m back and 200m IM, below is how his schedule would potentially shape up assuming he’s swimming at his best. It looks doable and he has the #1 time in the 200m IM in the world by almost a second now, so for him to not swim the 200m IM would be almost a shame.

As a trial run for Tokyo, perhaps Larkin will indeed swim the IM in Gwangju and see how it impact his backstroke, but he may consider that even a gamble he doesn’t want to take.

“Looking back four years ago, I want to get back there,” Larkin said. “But now I don’t care about expectations. I just want to swim fast.”

Monday, 07/22 AM – 100 back prelim
Monday, 07/22 PM – 100 back semi-final

Tuesday, 07/23 PM – 100 back final

Wednesday, 07/24 AM – 200 IM prelim
Wednesday, 07/24 PM – 200 IM semi-final & mixed medley relay final

Thursday, 07/25 AM – 200 back prelim
Thursday, 07/25 PM – 200 IM final & 200 back semi-final

Friday, 07/26 PM – 200 back final

Sunday, 07/28 AM & PM – men’s medley relay



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Does the IM final come before the back SF?

Old Man Chalmers



The Worlds’ schedule for someone who swims both the 200 back and 200 IM is manageable, more difficult is the double 100 free/200 IM like Duncan Scott could attempt. And also more difficult is the double 200 back/200 IM at Olympics, like Lochte’s history shows.

Steve Nolan

Agreed, those cost Lochte a bunch.


oh yes ….


dude has a better shot to medal in 2IM then backstroke, IMO. Step up to the plate, Larkin. 156 was silver in Rio.


Courtesy of lotche and pereira die hard strategy both could go 1:55 and medal but decided to hunt Phelps


Dude, you have a good point here! Hopefully Mitch realises and we get to see him race it at Worlds.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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