Mitch Larkin Breaks Australian Record in 200 SCM Backstroke By Almost a Second

Australian Mitchell Larkin has broke the Australian National Record in the men’s 200 short course meter backstroke on day 2 of the 2014 Beijing World Cup stop, swimming to a 1:48.69. That broke the old record of 1:49.62 set by Ashley Delaney in 2009 in Hobart, Australia.

Larkin swam lifetime bests in all three backstroke events in Beijing, and now ranks 4th, 3rd, and 1st, all-time in Australia in the 50, 100, and 200 meter backstrokes.

The 200 where he broke the record, though, saw his biggest personal improvement: he had previously sat 2nd on Australia’s all-time list in 1:49.89.

This is an event, especially in short course, where Australia has been pretty weak in this millenium despite their overall very good swimming history. Coming into Beijing, the Australians had only two swimmers all-time better than 1:51; the Americans, by comparison, have had 8 clear that barrier.

A split comparison between the two:

  • Ashley Delaney ’09: 25.38/27.38/28.15/28.71
  • Mitch Larkin ’14: 25.18/27.27/28.18/28.06

Larkin, whose primary event is the 200, made up a big part of the difference in the last 50 of his race. While both cross-over fairly well, Delaney is generally a better sprinter than Larkin, and Larkin is generally a better finisher than Delaney in the 200’s.

Not only is Larkin the National Record holder, he’s also the youngest swimmer on Australia’s top 10 list in any of the three short course backstroke distances (Josh Beaver was born about 6 months earlier). That means that this record could stand for a long time, and if he continues to race the World Cup, records in the 50 and 100 might not be far behind.

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It’s been a very good year for Mitch Larkin. I think with him Australia has a very solid backstroker, which is good for their medley relay. In fact I believe that in the Pan-Packs Larkin finished very close and possibly earlier than Greevers in the backstroke leg. Perhaps not so well known, larkin has a reasonable 200 m medley: about 1:50:3 in long course (Australian Championships 2014).


Sorry, I meant 1:59:3 in the medley.


Fast 200 back time, but it’s still more than 2.5 seconds slower than the incredible WR, 1:46.11 by Arkady Vyatchanin.


aswimfan i,m not trying to be rude but if you are only interested about world records then you can go to the pool and try to break some world records yourself. winning titles is more important than world records. emily seebohm has the world record in the 100 backstroke but she didn,t win the gold medal at the 2012 olympics.

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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