Australia’s Mitchell Larkin has arguably been the men’s breakout swimmer of the 2015 FINA World Aquatics Championships, a title he has solidified for himself by becoming the first swimmer since world record holder Aaron Peirsol to sweep the 100/200 backstrokes at a long course world championships.
Larkin’s gold-medal winning time of 1:54.29 not only won by almost a second, but it also set new Oceanian and Australian records in the event. Larkin had previously set those records in the semi-finals yesterday.
Here’s a look at the splits:
|Final||27.07||56.15(29.08 )||1:25.12 (28.97 )||1:53.58 (28.46)|
The splits show that Larkin took the first 50 out a little bit slower this evening, but then he proceeded to split each of the last three 50s faster than he did in the semi-final, and actually swam the third and fourth 50s faster than the leg before. The final 50 was the only split where he was actually faster than any of his competitors, just out-splitting silver medalist Radoslaw Kawecki by 0.04, 28.46 to 28.50.
Perhaps even more significant than the records is the fact that Larkin’s win meant that the USA failed to take gold in this event for the first time since the 1994 World Championships in Rome. Larkin was only a year old when that meet happened.