Mitch Larkin has nominated for the 200m and 400m IM at the Commonwealth Games trials.Backstroke hasn’t been kind to Mitch Larkin of late.
But the ex-dual world champion insists he is not ditching his pet event despite nominating for the individual medley at this month’s Gold Coast Commonwealth Games swimming trials.
In fact, Larkin, 24, is convinced he can end a two-year drought and reclaim his backstroke Midas touch under new mentor Dean Boxall.
Six years after contesting the London Olympic trials as a medley swimmer, Larkin looks set to return to his roots after putting his name down for the 200m and 400m IM at the trials starting in two weeks.
“I am going to dabble. The more chances I can get to swim at a home Games excites me, the more swims the better,” Larkin told AAP.
Larkin’s focus is still the 100m/200m backstroke double at the trials starting on February 28.
He would have been forgiven for becoming disillusioned with backstroke after a frustrating run since claiming 100m and 200m gold at the 2015 world titles in Russia.
But after linking with Boxall following a disastrous 2017 worlds, Larkin was reintroduced to medley training for a change and quickly rediscovered his love of swimming – and a hunger for more backstroke success.
“I told Dean in backstroke training I was overthinking things so he said do a bit of medley and just train, I really enjoyed that,” Larkin told AAP.
“It reminded me of childhood swimming for fun.
“After a few medley sets under my belt I can just switch back to backstroke mode and that’s nice and refreshing.
“I am still focusing very much on backstroke, those goals for backstroke are still there.”
Larkin made the shock call to leave renowned coach Michael Bohl after his 2015 world titles success earned him FINA Male Swimmer of the Year honours.
His form has never been the same.
As raging favourite Larkin failed to snare Rio Olympic gold and had to be content with 200m backstroke silver.
Last year was even more frustrating.
After linking with the world beating Campbell sisters’ coach Simon Cusack, Larkin didn’t make the 100m podium and missed the 200m final altogether in a horror 2017 world titles defence in Budapest.
But Larkin believed he had found the right mix in his training program under Boxall to again threaten the world’s best.
“One of the questions Dean first asked me was ‘what are your goals – are you determined to get back where you were or even better?'” Larkin said.
“I said I wouldn’t be going through all this if I didn’t think I was capable of swimming faster. I am determined to get back up there.”