Dolphin Mitch Larkin Leaps To 1:45.6 WR 200 Back Not Far Off Free Pace Of The Albatross

Mitchell Larkin - by Patrick B. Kraemer

It was 1982 when Michael “The Albatross” Gross (FRG), in the days when short-course racing was less common and global standards a decade shy of official status, took an axe to the men’s 200m freestyle world standard in 1:44.50 (down from 1:47.29). A sensational moment – as was the 1:45.63 in which Mitch Larkin, of Australia, just took down the world short-course record in the 200m backstroke at Australian national championships in Sydney.

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It was 1982 when Michael “The Albatross” Gross (FRG), in the days when short-course racing was less common and global standards a decade shy of official status, took an axe to the men’s 200m freestyle world standard in 1:44.50 (down from 1:47.29). A sensational moment – as was the 1:45.63 in which Mitch Larkin, of Australia, just took down the world short-course record in the 200m backstroke at Australian national championships in Sydney.



So my feeling about WR next to Mitch Larkin was a right one :).


Great 200m free by Cam McEvoy taking down Ian Thorpe’s Aussie record of 1.41.10 with a 3.40.80 o equal Brent Hayden’s 2009 Commonwealth mark.

Craig Lord

quite so, TommyL 🙂


Larkin 2 relay swims, could he be a smokie for the 100 &/or 200 relay for Rio

Craig Lord

Impressive stuff, Robbos … though they’ll be a bit of competition for those freestyle berths at trials … and looking at the sched, I would imagine the 1-day break (coinciding with 4×200) between the 100 and 200m campaigns in Rio might be useful.


Mitch Larkin’s claims to world male swimmer of the year status keep rising. A WR in the 100 now looks odds on.

Also a great swim by Cameron McEvoy. After a 46.31 in the 100 and a 3.41.66 in the 400 it was no great surprise that he lowered Ian Thorpe’s record. I suspect that after the way Ning Zetao came over the top of him in Kazan Mr McEvoy has been working on his endurance,


That’s a stunning SCM WR.
Wonder what he will do with the 100 WR.


Larkin putting his hand in for FS relay selection ? Certainly, his 2 relay splits at this meet have been very interesting indeed.

Whilst there will certainly be quite a number of contenders “wanting a piece of the action”, neither of the AUS male freestyle relays look particularly solid and a number of the “usual suspects” bring with them some unwanted baggage with regards to their international track records.

Both Seebohm and Wilson look potential/likely “secondments” for the W4X100 so it would not surprise that Larkin may lay down a “marker” in the prelims of the 100/200 at Trials. Given he looks a virtual lock for individual selection, he could be listed for either relay without having to be used like a “relay only” nomination.


Interesting thing about Larkins 200 free anchor. 51.0 then a 51.9 on the way back…

Craig Lord

The wonders of chasing a hare, Wez 🙂


As yet, C2 perhaps hasn’t quite matched big sister in her capacity to put out outstanding times “in season” although she’s certainly showing a capacity for excellence in that regard. Whether the other side of the coin is that she is the one who delivers the big performance when it really counts … next year may tell us a lot.

The W100FLY result certainly doesn’t really give us any real answers for next year. Could it be that McKeonE is NOT another Lenton and fly is really her secondary talent in comparison to her FS ? No real signs that Coutts is getting back to her previous levels. Groves’ time is nice but she has a large question mark against her as yet with regards to international performance.

Not sure the breaststroke picture on either side looks any clearer. Some positive sings from Packard, Sprenger and Wilson but with the latter we will need to see what they are doing LC. A good swim by Hunter but the fact that a 30yo, albeit one who is an Olympic finalist, is winning is probably not the sign one is wanting to see.

Larkin, Seebohm – enough said. Good swims by Wilson and Atherton who could certainly be contending in this event at Trials. Having said that, on the evidence of this meet so far, our other male back-strokers will need to extract the digit if Larkin is going to have some company for Rio.

Certainly AM liking the signs from TFH at this meet. Impressive swims from both he and McEvoy in the 200FS.


Roy, with regards to the W4XMED; if you have one or two “gun” legs then you can potentially afford one “iffy” but not terrible leg. However, if you have two poor legs ……. say goodbye to any thoughts of gold or potentially a medal.

As illustrated in Kazan; USA finished out of the medals due to having two relatively poor legs and the others just competent. AUS managed to save bronze due to Seebohm giving them some semblance of a lead to start and C2 pulling out a ‘stormer’ anchor leg to drag them back past some teams. BRS & FLY still don’t look particularly healthy at this point.

Re Bohl, these are certainly promising signs but lets see if she sustains this form through to Trials. Last season she peaked at Qld Titles and was disappointing thereafter. Lets just see how her season pans out first before anointing her as the solution to the BRS woes.

There does not appear to be a solution to the M fly issues on the horizon. The international records of Hadler & D’Orsogna speak for themselves and Wright (the only other sub52 swimmer) is little better. There’s no one else coming through; the

Lucy Slade

Mitch’s 200BK WR would have placed him 6th in the 200 FR final at this meet. Adds some perspective.
Very good 200FR from McEvoy. Nice to see TFH put in a solid swim.
Interesting to see how these SC times manifest at Olympic trials.


Unfortunately the video presented in this article doesn’t allow to make detailed technical analysis of this race. But it shows that the main advantage was achieved at underwater part of this race, that actually constitutes about 55-60% of the entire distance. At LC Larkin won’t have such a luxury. So prognosis should be made cautiously.

Craig Lord

Caution always required, Yozhik, quite right (though he is double world champion, so long-course is something he can clearly handle 🙂


I’m glad, Craig that my comment brought a smile to your face. I actually responded to Lucy Slade regarding the concern about Olympic trials and if this SC world record manifested some progress since Kazan. His LC champion performances in Kazan does prove that he is competitive at such type of competition. If this SC WR predicts the WR or Olympic gold at LC I’m not sure. That kind of causionness I was talking about.


CW, re Hunter, hate to think what you will sat when Phelps & Lochte wins US trials at 30 something!!!!

I’m fairly confident on the Aussie 4×200 with McEvoy, TFH & Daniel Smith to lead them with McKeon (poor int’l individual swimmer, but still good 4th swimmer), Grant Hackett, Larkin, Herzog proving good depth for 4th swimmer.

The 4X100 needs a lot of things to go well to medal & the 4X100 med still badly needs a butterflyer.

paolo rubbiani

Great 1.43.02, with a relative slow 0.39 flying start, for Mitchell Larkin, considering that was set after a WR.
A preview for Aussie 4×200 free relay in Rio’s final: McEvoy, Fraser-Holmes, Horton and Larkin.


Thanks Paolo, I forgot Horton, that team would go very close to being the favourites for Rio, there is also depth in Smith, Hackett, McKeon & Herzog.


If Larkin could also give depth to the 4X100, though I think his 200 is better, it would help, but as I said, the Aussies need lots of things to go well in the 4×100, but they do have the X factor in Maggie, McEvoy, who I think has learnt from his Kazan experience & Chalmers.


Ryan Lochte is an underwater monster, and for Larkin to crush Lochte’s textile WR by a second bodes well for the LCM 200 next year. At this rate, a 1:52 is a conservative prediction.

Also, I bid goodbye to 1:41.10 with a sense of melancholic. I watched that 1:41.10 that made some Berliners collective jaws dropped.


Cate Campbell can swim 200m free 1.56.11 in the heats of the 200m, her stroke is effortless reminds me of Ian Thorpe, am unsure if she will take this event seriously at the elite level!


And mcEvoy just swam 21.0
This kid keeps surprising me. I’ve thought he’s reached his potential ceiling already. So in this meet he’s swum 21, 46, 1:40 and 3:41
Not bad at all.

Craig Lord

Yes, aswimfan, I saw him warm-up in Sheffield on the way to Berlin – and his swims that s/c season did more than make jaws drop, I recall.

Craig Lord

I share your caution, Yozhik; 2 peaks – you can see one from the other, so linked they are – but by air not water


Bit too cute there, Rob !! Phelps & Lochte’s records speak for themselves and they are considered as greats whereas, at best, Hunter could only be described as a solid international class swimmer,

Yet, I WILL “go there”; the fact that these two are still relied upon as major pillars of US relays and of the entire US men’s team does not necessarily speak well of the current depth. But hey, Olympic years do tend to turn up “bolters” and let’s see what may turn up !

The AUS M4XMED will have a lot of trouble defending that Kazan bronze. The Euros are likely to have their acts far more together and the US is extremely unlikely to be as vulnerable as they were this year.

– These early season signs from TFH ARE very positive and Dan Smith’s 2015 has been very pleasing.
– Am still not sure McEvoy’s 200 is anywhere near as consistent as his 100.
– Larkin is most certainly a very interesting possibility.
– Horton is a “maybe” rather than a sure bet, lets just see how he bounces back from the Kazan experience.
– Hertzog does not impress
– Still putting your hopes on Hackett ? You clearly musn’t have watched his Kazan heat swim where he was calling “taxi” and conceding acreage on the way home. I do not doubt his spirit and endeavour; I just don’t think his body can get him there any longer.

In short, I do NOT rule them out of medal contention in Rio but I do feel that this is probably going to be the hardest of the Kazan medals to “defend”.

Re M4X100; unless Larkin pops out one or two LCM 48middish over the season or at Trials; the line-up is McEvoy, Magnussen (still with question mark), Chalmers and Abood swimming heats and finals. You cannot afford to consider any other than those I’ve named. Should Magnussen NOT “come up” as hoped for; kiss Rio final and maybe even Rio qualification goodbye. Wish I could be more optimistic but them’s the facts that are before me.


Craig Lord,

Yes, the 1:41.10 did more than making a few jaws dropped. At that time it was so ridiculously fast that some Germans threw out the “D” word against Thorpe.

Craig Lord

It was the German head coach, aswimfan, and he spoke to the reporter who would become my wife that year; she told me and I got to run her scoop in The Times before she ran it in her paper – she’s forgiven me 🙂 As has Nicole Jeffrey, of The Australian, who went from Sheffield to Berlin to face the storm of it all 🙂



I am astonished to know that the reporter agreed to marry you. I thought at least she would have called off the engagement!

And I think I read all about the drama in Nicole Jeffrey’s articles.

Craig Lord

Love knows no bounds, aswimfan 🙂

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