Mitch Larkin All But Matches World-Title Pace; Rikako Ikee, 15 – 57.5 Japanese Fly Mark

Mitch Larkin and, inset, Rikako Ikee, stole the limelight on day 1 in Tokyo - main image by Patrick B. Kraemer

Mitch Larkin all but matched his world-title winning time over 100m backstroke and Rikako Ikee, 15, thrilled home fans when she set a Japanese record of 57.56 for victory in the 100m butterfly in the first session of finals at the Tokyo round of the World Cup today

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Mitch Larkin all but matched his world-title winning time over 100m backstroke and Rikako Ikee, 15, thrilled home fans when she set a Japanese record of 57.56 for victory in the 100m butterfly in the first session of finals at the Tokyo round of the World Cup today



Small correction, Craig. Larkin also broke 53 in this morning’s heats with a 52.99. Will be VERY interesting to see what he swims in tomorrow’s 200.

Prior to 2014, Larkin’s record since his debut at 2011 Worlds WAS distinctly “equivocal” and could have been seen as teetering into that class that ‘shall not be named”. His 2014 performances at CG & PP were enough to bring him into international calculations.

The 2015 Larkin is at least steps above the 2014 model with the technical errors (esp “wandering” in his lane) eradicated. Has it been a case of full physical maturity; has it been a case of meticulous technical attention to detail; has it been a case of just having that Perfect preparation and a “golden run of form” ? It could be all of the above.

Certainly, he’s starting to mirror Seebohm with regards to consistency and level of excellence of performance ….. and like Seebohm has been willing to test himself post Kazan at World Cup meets. By no means is his position “impregnable” but should his 20

Craig Lord

Thanks CWombat – good spot – tweaked.


apologies for keyboard “freeze”. By no means is Larkin’s position “impregnable” but should his 2016 form mirror his 2015; he will be a very formidable obstacle for his competition to overcome.

Most events ran as to form. Probably the only event to run counter to this was W200back with Seebohm reversing the order from some previous WCup outings. Curiously, the W50back will be Coughlin’s only backstroke outing at this meet.

World medallists Johansson (SWE) and Atkinson (JAM) failed to qualify from morning heats to tonight’s final. Fastest qualifier and winner, Hannis, may be disappointed that her winning time in the final was some 0.6sec slower than her heat time of 1.07.12

Bad Anon

Larkin on a roll; he just needs the perfect race to sink Piersol’s 51.94 rubber suit standard. Coughlin smart to avoid being humiliated in the 100back by Seebohm who too is on a roll. Most impressed by her 2.08 flat 200back after a speedy 27.mid 50back.With greater emphasis on 200back Seebohm will crack 2.05 next summer and Missy will need all she can muster to defend her backstroke titles from London

Craig Lord

No such thing as a perfect race, I’m often told, Bad Anon 🙂 In any case, it will take a touch more than that, including leapfrogging the best of the rest of textile ahead of him in the queue: Grevers; Lacourt; Irie and Xu, time on the side of Larkin and Xu and the roll with Larkin, perhaps, as you suggest.


BA, I’d love to have your wonderful certainty that things WILL unfold in accordance with these pronouncements. I’d certainly be interested in your tips for the horses on Saturday afternoon ! LOL

Is it necessarily smart for Coughlin to AVOID racing Seebohm ? Franklin didn’t seem to mind fronting up for the last group of meets. Her results were probably little better than Coughlin would produce so I’m struggling to see the differentiation.

What is interesting is that Larkin has followed a somewhat similar competition pattern to Seebohm over the past 12 months. Both followed up from 2014 LC season by going to SC Worlds. Both have been prominent on the current WC circuit post Worlds. Both have simplified their programs by dropping the 200IM.

Seebohm has seemed to have ingrained a standard of “excellence” in her racing performance; something paralleled by C1. Their example looks to be now followed by Larkin and C2.

For many years, a criticism of AUS Swimming has been that they do not do enough racing which has been seen in the sloppy race skills of even some of the biggest names. Clearly there does appear to be somewhat of a culture change in progress.

Ian Hanson

The one time that has escaped everyone is actually Mitch Larkin’s PB, the fastest time in the world this year, the Commonwealth and Australian record of 52.37, clocked in the heats of the 4x100m medley in Kazan – and a morning relay swim to boot!! I think his Top 7 times look like this: 52.37 (Kazan Relay Heat); 52.38 (Kazan individual semi); 52.40 (Kazan Final); 52.41 (Kazan Relay Final); 52.48 (Tokyo Final); 52.50 (Kazan heat) and 52.99 (Tokyo heat)…..unless he has snuck another one in there somewhere…impressive stuff!

Craig Lord

Impressive indeed, Ian. Many thanks for the relay reminder (2nd fastest in world after Ryan Murphy’s 52.18, which could not count as a champs record in that mixed medley relay but does count for rankings, as an official time).

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