As swimmers arrive in Tokyo, Japan for this weekend’s stop of the 2018 FINA World Cup Series, the penultimate stop of the series, American champion Michael Andrew sat down with Australian champion Mitch Larkin to discuss training, underwaters, event preferences, and what they like about the rapid-fire nature of the FINA World Cup Series.
The 25-year old Larkin won a pair of Olympic medals at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, including silver individually in the 200 back. He’s also the 2015 World Champion in both the 100 and 200 backstrokes. Larkin currently ranks 3rd (one spot ahead of Andrew) in the 2018 FINA World Cup Series standings, just 3 points behind Russian Kirill Prigoda for 2nd place. Vlad Morozov is a runaway in the men’s battle, leading the field by 104 points.
The two also discussed the balance of personal versus private life as a public figure, which has been very relevant recently for Larkin after he and fellow Olympian Emily Seebohm had a breakup that has become a matter of much public discussion in their home country of Australia.
Larkin also opens up about the shift back to the 200 IM, a race where he excelled early in his career before shifting to backstroke (where he now holds the World Record in the 200 short course meters). He says the IM makes him feel ‘young’ and ‘fresh’ again, though when pressed about his legacy and what he wanted to be remembered for in the pool, he admitted that returning to the top of the world in the backstroke races was something he’d like to do before retiring.
Watch the full interview below: