The 2015 Queensland Championships are underway at the Brisbane Aquatic Center, with the competition lasting through Friday, December 18th. The Campbell sisters, Emily Seebohm, Cameron McEvoy and Thomas Fraser-Holmes were among the prime time players set to swim at the event, as is double World Champion Mitch Larkin.
Larkin won both the 100 and 200 backstroke races at this 2015 World Championships and scored major wins along the FINA World Cup Series path afterwards. At the Dubai stop of that circuit, Larkin set Australian and Commonwealth records in both the backstroke distances, scoring times swifter than what he produced in Kazan. Additionally, Larkin went on to break the World Record in the 200 backstroke while competing at the Australian Short Course Championships in November.
Flash Forward to the Queensland Championships, where Larkin has decided to try to keep his eye-popping streak going. Originally having entered the long course meters formatted meet in the 100m and 200m backstrokes, as well as the 200 IM, news reported by The Australian was that Larkin was actually only going to swim his two club relays and be done with the meet.
However, Larkin’s coach Michael Bohl has told The Australian that Larkin has convinced his mentor to let him compete in the individual backstroke races after all. Said Bohl of their conversation, “I spoke to Mitch after the relay and he was the one who wanted to swim. I was indifferent, because I think he’s proved himself with all the racing he’s done this year. But he insisted he still felt pretty fresh and wanted to swim.’’
Already in Queensland, Larkin blasted off a 53.07 opening leg of his St. Peter’s Western 400m medley relay, a time which in itself ranks 3rd in the world so far this long course season.
In the prelims of the individual 100 backstroke, Larkin comfortably took the top seed in a mark of 53.26, two full seconds over the rest of the field. Even that prelims mark is only .28 of a second off of retired American swimmer Aaron Peirsol’s All Comers record of 52.98, lending credibility to Larkin’s feeling that he’s indeed ready to keep racing.
Adding to his incentive could very well be the fact that American Matt Grevers blew away the 100 SCM backstroke record just yesterday while competing at the Duel in the Pool in Indianapolis, Indiana. 48.92 is what Grevers threw down to stake his claim among the world as a still completely relevant and present threat in the backstroking field.
Larkin will contest the 100m backstroke final while America sleeps, with the session taking place at 6pm local/3am Eastern.