Larkin Sweeps Backstrokes, McKeon Wins 5th Gold on Final Day of Aussie SC Champs

Australia’s Mitch Larkin will head into the 2014 Short Course World Championships with all three Australian short course meters backstroking titles in his name, including National Records in the longer two of those.

Larkin swam a 1:47.72 to break his own record of 1:48.69 set in Bejing at the World Cup a week-and-a-half ago, which in turn beat Ash Delaney’s 1:49.62 from 2009. In short, Larkin has improved this record by two seconds in two weeks.

The comparison of splits between the three record swims:

  • Ashley Delaney ’09: 25.38/27.38/28.15/28.71
  • Mitch Larkin old: 25.18/27.27/28.18/28.06
  • Mitch Larkin new: 25.07/27.26/27.89/27.50

There’s few 200 backstrokers in the world right now who are willing to go out as hard as Larkin in the first 50 meters, but it’s the last 50 where Larkin dropped half-a-second from Beijing and made the difference on this record.

His swim also broke the old All-Comers’ record that was Delaney’s 1:49.62 referenced above; the Commonwealth Record remains in tact at 1:47.08 (South African George du Rand), as does the World Record of 1:46.11 (Russian Arkady Vyatchanin).

Editor’s note: Swimming Australia announced the full team for Doha immediately after the completion of Sunday’s final session, so there’s no need for us to track the qualifiers anymore.

See that full team here.

Other Individual Finals

Men’s 100 Free – FINALS

The men’s 100 free saw another scorcher-of-a-battle when Cameron McEvoy pipped aTommaso D’Orsogna by .01 seconds, 46.85-46.86. McEvoy had the better front-half, ironically given that his career has seen him come down from a 200 freestyler as compared to D’Orsogna’s preferred sprinting, but his opponent closed hard over just the last 25 meters to almost take the victory.

At either rate, both swimmers will go to Doha, as will 3rd-place finisher Matthew Abood, who was a 47.14 (he previously qualified in the 50). That will leave a decision to be made about who Australia will use to finish this 400 free relay at Worlds, with perhaps Jordan Harrison, David Morgan, or even Mitch Larkin seeming like possibilities. Travis Mahoney was the only other swimmer to make the roster and swim the final of this event with a 48.71 for 10th place.

Women’s 50 Back – FINALS – Non Selection Event

Nudgee Brothers’ Emily Seebohm added another win to her sterling resume in Adelaide with a 26.39 to top the women’s 50 backstroke. That was the tie-breaker in a great backstroke battle this week that she’s had with Madison Wilson, who took 2nd in 26.74.

Both swimmers made the roster for the Short Course World Championships.

Women’s 200 Breast – FINALS

The pressure was on in this 200 breaststroke, with only the winner from a deep Australian breaststroking group likely to make the trip to Doha, and in the 200 meter distance that meant 29-year old Sally Hunter, who is by far the closest to a 200 breaststroke specialist among the lot.

Hunter was out in 1:07.6 to open a lead on the field mid-way and just continued to push that lead to three seconds by the finish. Tessa Wallace took 2nd in 2:23.38, and Jessica Hansen was 3rd in 2:23.71.

Men’s 100 IM – FINALS – Non Selection Event

Best-known stateside as a former Wisconsin Badger, 23-year old Daniel Lester won the men’s 100 IM title on Sunday with a 52.65. That beat out Mackay’s Justin James in 53.20 – with James adding that silver to an earlier one in the 200 IM.

This race as a non-Olympic event didn’t earn either a spot for the World Championships, nor did either swimmer’s other results.

Women’s 100 Fly – FINALS

Emma McKeon rolled on with her successful meet, winning a 4th title in the women’s 100 fly in 56.21. That’s a new lifetime best and puts her among the top 5 Australians all-time in the race.

With so many of Australia’s top freestylers and butterfliers either opting out of, or not qualifying to make, the trip to Doha, the pressure will be on for her in three weeks as she tries to rally the Australian women’s relays onto the podium.

Not making the trip will be the 2nd-and-3rd place finishers here: Brittany Elmslie (57.06) and Marieke D’Cruz (57.49), though in both case that means medal possibilities left on the table.

Brianna Throssell, the 200 fly winner, was 4th here in the 100 in 58.14. She’s already qualified for the team in the 200 fly, which means a possibility of swimming this 100 fly as well as a bonus event.

Men’s 50 Breast – FINALS – Non Selection Event

There wasn’t a huge foreign presence at this meet, which is unusual for Australian events, but the final day did see one visitor take a win, as Poland’s Michal Zawadka topped the men’s 50 breaststroke in 26.92 – just off of his own lifetime best.

Josh Palmer took 2nd in 26.96, and Tommy Sucipto and Jake Packard tied for 3rd in 26.97. More than a photo-finish, the top four in this race were all within .05 seconds of each other.

Packard was the champion in the 100 breaststroke earlier in the meet to earn his spot for Doha.

Women’s 50 Free – FINALS

Bronte Campbell paced the women’s 50 free with a 23.88 that just missed a seven-year old All-Comers record, but was good enough for a win and to lock up her spot for Doha.

Just like in the 100 fly earlier in the day, a 2nd place for Brittany Elmslie (24.47) and a 3rd place for Marieke D’Cruz (24.54) weren’t enough to go to Worlds.

Men’s 200 Fly – FINALS

St. Peters Western’s Grant Irvine won the men’s 200 fly to take his ticket late, swimming a 1:52.37 to be pretty easily clear of the field. He turned in 53.0 half-way, a full second ahead of Thomas Fraser-Holmes, and that was about the final margin.

Fraser-Holmes took 2nd in 1:53.53, and 100 fly winner David Morgan took 3rd in 1:54.62.

Irvine was the only swimmer to earn a spot on the Worlds team from that race, though based on his event lineup and relative effort, it appears most likely as though Fraser-Holmes had no intent of attending anyway.

Men’s 1500 Free – Timed Finals

The young Jordan Harrison continued his attempts to rebuild Australia’s distance swimming legacy with a 14:26.21 on Sunday to win the men’s 1500 free. That 27-second improvement on his old best moves Harrison into 2nd-place on the all-time list of Australians behind only the legendary Grant Hackett who swam his World Record of 14:10.10 in Perth in 2001.

Jack McLoughlin took 2nd in 14;44.89 and Jarrod Poort was 3rd in 14:51.08.

Women’s 200 Free – Finals

Emma McKeon finished the meet’s individual events with her 5th gold medal in 5 events in 5 days, swimming a 1:52.59 to break the Australian All-Comers’ Record. She already held the overall National Record, and after how good she’s been this week it was maybe a small surprise to see her come up .19 short of a best time in her best event, but that won’t leave even the smallest hints of dissatisfaction in her results.

Kylie Palmer from Indooroopily took 2nd in 1:54.05 and Brittany Elmslie was 3rd in 1:54.44. Even without Elmslie, the Australians will send four of their top five finishers in this race to Doha, which should make it their most complete relay (though maybe still not best) at Worlds.

Women’s 1500 Free – Timed Finals – Non-Selection Event

This race, swum in the morning, was won by Jessica Ashwood in 15:55.49. She was the highest-quality female distance swimmer entered in this race, and thus it’s no surprise that she finished almost 11 seconds clear of anybody else in the field.

Full, live meet results available here.



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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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