Larkin sends out Rio warning with dominant backstroke win

Adelaide, Australia—World champion Mitch Larkin was under world record pace before qualifying for the Rio Olympics in the 100-metres backstroke at the Australian Swimming Championships in Adelaide on Saturday.
The FINA Male Swimmer of the Year was on track to go under American Aaron Peirsol’s seven-year 100m backstroke world record (51.94) before easing off to win in 52.54 seconds. Larkin holds the Australian and Commonwealth record of 52.11secs and posted the year’s fastest time (52.48secs) in Friday’s semi-final. Larkin said he had done enough at the Olympic trials to send a message to his rivals in Rio.
“I think they know I can swim fast. And I know I am capable of it,” Larkin told reporters. “I have come a long way in 12 months and there are a few more months of work left. I am a bit disappointed (in missing the world record) but the main goal was to book a ticket to Rio.”
Larkin will attempt to clinch the backstroke double with the 200m event at the Australian trials later in the meet. His girlfriend and fellow dual world champion Emily Seebohm also qualified for Rio with the world’s fastest time of 58.73secs in the 100m backstroke event.
Seebohm last year claimed the 100m-200m backstroke double at the Kazan world championships and is looking for her first Olympic gold medal at Rio.
In Saturday’s other finals, Cameron McEvoy and Thomas Fraser-Holmes dead-heated in the 200m freestyle in a time of 1:45.63 while Georgia Bohl made her first Olympic team by winning the 100m breaststroke (1:06.12) ahead of Taylor McKeown (1:06.68)—AFP

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