Brisbane’s record breaking backstrokers Mitch Larkin and Emily Seebohm have sent a clear message they mean business at December’s world short course swimming championships in Doha, recording sizzling performances at the Australian titles in Adelaide.
Larkin and then Seebohm challenged the short course world records in the 100m backstroke finals in two spectacular swims at the SA Aquatic and Leisure Centre on Thursday’s second night of the 2014 national championships.
Larkin, 21, improved Wednesday’s Commonwealth record time again on Thursday night, clocking 49.25 to win gold – just 0.31secs outside American Nick Thoman’s 2009 world mark of 48.94.
The London Olympic 200m backstroke finalist and Commonwealth Games gold medallist proved too fast and too strong for defending champion Bobby Hurley (50.20) and Beijing Olympian Ashley Delaney (51.30).
Larkin said he was thrilled with the time and excited to see how fast he could go in his main event, the 200m backstroke later in the week.
“For me to go that quick is just amazing. I’ve got really bad eyes and, for a second, I thought I went 50.2 (seconds) but to go 49.25 is pretty amazing.
“I’ve got the 200 later in the week so I’m really looking forward to seeing what I can do in that one,” Larkin said.
Dual-Olympian Seebohm then demonstrated her dominance with a powerhouse display of short course swimming.
She only just missed the 2009 world record of Japan’s Shiho Sakai by just 0.24secs – a record she’ll hunt in Doha.
Seebohm, 22, smashed her own Australian record by 1.11secs and the 2009 Commonwealth record set by South African Channelle Van Wyk by 1.09secs, relegating Madison Wilson (56.97) to silver and Hayley Baker (57.45) to bronze.
The Australian team for the Doha world championships from December 3-7 will be named on Sunday night.