Mitch Larkin winner of the 200m backstroke final on day 1 of the Australian Swimming Championships at the Brisbane Aquatic Centre in Chandler, Sunday, April 9, 2017. (AAP Image/Glenn Hunt) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Mitch Larkin winner of the 200m backstroke final on day 1 of the Australian Swimming Championships at the Brisbane Aquatic Centre in Chandler, Sunday, April 9, 2017. (AAP Image/Glenn Hunt) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY

Larkin’s plan to overcome Rio disappointment

MITCH Larkin is toying with the idea of adding the individual medley to his Commonwealth Games trials program in a bid to maintain the hunger that will fuel his Olympic redemption.

Larkin won the 400m IM at the Queensland titles on Sunday, beating medley specialists including Commonwealth Games representative Jared Gilliland and Olympian Travis Mahoney on his way to collecting gold in 4min 20.45 sec.

A dual backstroke world champion, Larkin is enjoying the challenge of the medley and while he may add it to his program for the Games trials on the Gold Coast next February, he will not let it take away his focus from his pet events.

"As for whether I'll swim it at trials and Commonwealth Games, I'm not quite sure yet," Larkin said.

"I've got that day possibly free (on the program).

"It'd be nice to represent Australia in that event and at a home Commonwealth Games, the more swims you can get, absolutely the better.

"I've kept my mind open and if I'm happy with where things are, I'll swim it at trials and we'll look to see if I can qualify.

"But to solely focus on it, no, I want to get my backstroke back to world class swimming and I'd love to do that on the Gold Coast."

Larkin won the 100m and 200m backstroke double at the 2015 world championships and headed to the Rio Olympics last year as raging gold medal favourite.

While he finished with silver in the 200m, he missed the podium in the 100m and was among several Australian swimmers who failed to convert their trial form into gold medals at the Games - something that has left him hungry for redemption.

After splitting with coach Michael Bohl following the Games, Larkin had a stint in Simon Cusack's sprint-focused program, before settling with Dean Boxall.

The switches meant Larkin has had a difficult year, but he has no regrets.

"The work with Simon was really good, I certainly learnt a lot from that and I don't regret anything I trialled or experimented with and it opened my eyes," said Larkin, who seems to respond better to the aerobic and endurance focus of Boxall's high-volume program.

"Because I didn't have the best year this year, I'm back to my hungriest.

"I want to be back (at the top) more than ever and it's really allowed me to work on those one per centres in training.

"Not that I was getting complacent but my desire and my search just to make sure all the boxes are ticked again and make sure everything's done properly is ignited again and I think it's a good time in a four-year cycle to be hungry with three years to go."


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