Mitch Larkin is quickly establishing himself as the swimmer to beat in backstroke. The 22-year-old from St Peter’s Western Swim Club put a scare into Aaron Peirsol’s long course 100 backstroke world record earlier this month in Dubai
He improved on that performance on the second night of the Hancock Prospecting Australian Short Course Championships, becoming the first swimmer to go under 1:46 in the short course 200 backstroke:
Larkin’s splits on the race were as follows:
Those splits suggest near perfect pacing on the race for Larkin. The previous world record was from 2009 and belonged to Arkady Vyatchanin at 1:46.11. Since that record was set, few have approached that level of performance. The fastest swim in the world last year was Radoslaw Kawecki‘s 1:47.37.
Larkin’s performance was so dominant that it put him nearly eight seconds ahead of his closest competitor. While short course swimming does not always correspond directly to long course, Larkin has proven he can race on that format as well and is looking extremely sharp with Rio coming fast on the horizon.