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Larkin coach doesn't lament World Record miss at trials

  • Larkin coach doesn't lament World Record miss at trials

    The disappointment of missing out on a world record was written all over Mitch Larkin's face.

The disappointment of missing out on a world record was written all over Mitch Larkin's face.

But his coach Michael Bohl may have been breathing a little easier ahead of the Rio Olympics.

The reigning FINA Male Swimmer of the Year had made it clear at the Rio trials in Adelaide he wanted to eclipse American Aaron Peirsol's 100m backstroke world mark (51.94) set in the 2009 supersuit era.

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Larkin's personal best is the national and Commonwealth record of 52.11.

While Larkin recorded the fastest time of the year (52.48) in the semi-final in Adelaide, he was slightly off that pace (52.54) in Saturday night's final where he defended his national title.

"(There is) a little bit (of disappointment), when you sort of freshen up and shave down, you want to swim PBs," said Larkin, who showed his let-down to all once he touched the wall on Saturday night.

But Bohl said it was mission accomplished - his young charge had booked a Rio ticket.

Bohl said he had never discussed breaking the world record at the Rio trials and almost sounded like he wanted Larkin to keep his power dry in Adelaide.

"The number one goal is to qualify, he's got bigger fish to fry when the Olympics come around," he said.

"He will have a tough Olympics, he will be the one that people are chasing.

"He is more than capable of stepping up to the demands."

Larkin had wanted to "throw the first jab" at Adelaide after fearing the 100m mark would be eclipsed at the US swim trials in July by either reigning Olympic champion Matt Grevers or rising college star Ryan Murphy.

Either way, Larkin will have a target on his back in Rio after becoming just the fourth person - and the first in 10 years - to claim the 100m-200m backstroke double at a world titles last year in Russia.

"At the level he is at, if he can get a PB (at Rio trials) that is fantastic, but it is not going to make or break his year," reigning Australian Coach of the Year Bohl said.

"The place for him to perform is the Olympics."

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