Olympic silver medallist Mitch Larkin (SPW) will go all out in tonight’s 200m backstroke final and then see how much petrol he has in the tank for the 200m individual medley in what will be a tough double on night three of the Hancock Prospecting Australian Swimming Trials at the Optus Aquatic Centre on the Gold Coast.
Larkin, who has already been nominated for selection onto the Australian Commonwealth Games team in the 100m backstroke, has qualified second into the backstroke and equal fourth into the medley finals tonight.
Champion NSW Central Coast lifesaver and NSW State champion Bradley Woodward (Mingara) topped the qualifiers, winning heat three this morning in 1:59.05.
Larkin wasn’t far behind, taking out his heat in 1:59.10 while Rio Olympian Josh Beaver (Northcote) won his heat in 1:59.21, ahead of noted freestyle sprinter Jack Cartwright (SPW) in 2:00.04.
Cartwright was back in the water after his stirring performance to gain an individual berth in the 100m freestyle last night after swimming to near collapse, suffering heart palpitations during the 200m freestyle heat on Wednesday, forcing him into hospital until discharged late in the afternoon.
It is believed to be a similar condition (SVT) that forced Olympic champion and now National champion Kyle Chalmers onto the operating table last year.
And although he will visit his specialist next week both Cartwright and Australian Dolphins National Head Coach Jacco Verhaeren said it will not affect Cartwright’s availability for the team.
For Larkin he said he would go “flat out” to swim the fastest time he could in the backstroke and deal with the medley when it comes.
Larkin (2:02.89) will go into the IM final in equal fourth place with his St Peters Western team mate Clyde Lewis the fastest qualifier on 2:00.46, followed by Jared Gilliland (Brisbane Grammar) 2:01.73 and Rio Olympian Travis Mahoney (Marion) next on 2:01.74.
“I’ll give it my all in the backstroke and then see what happens,” Larkin said, “we have been training for this double for the past six months so we will see what happens – I’m up for it.”
Meanwhile in other events Emma McKeon (Griffith University) will be hunting her fourth individual place on the Games team after qualifying first into the 100m butterfly final in 57.94 with the in-form West Australian Brianna Throssell (UWSC) next in 58.66, then Olympic 200m silver medallist Maddie Groves (Griffith University) 58.69 and 200m winner Laura Taylor (TSS Aquatic) 58.91.
And another multi-eventer, world champion Emily Seebohm (Brisbane Grammar) leads the qualifiers into the 200m backstroke final in 2:11.33 ahead of Hayley Baker (Melbourne Vicentre) 2:12.18 and Sunshine Coast youngster Kaylee McKeown (USC Spartans) 2:12.63 and Sian Whittaker (Melbourne Vicentre) 2:12.90 in what will be one of the most anticipated events of the meet.
The men’s 100m butterfly is also there for the taking with Bond’s Brayden McCarthy leading the qualifiers in 52.22 followed by Rio Olympian Grant Irvine (Griffith University) 52.51, Theo Benehoutsos (Melbourne Vicentre) 53.04 and another Rio Olympian in David Morgan (TSS Aquatic).
Tonight will also see SPW star Ariarne Titmus chasing an 800m title defence to add to her 200 and 400m wins – a rare treble in the annals of swimming in Australia.
Hancock Prospecting Australian Swimming Trials – The Selection of the Australian Swimming Team - #AusTrials2018
Proudly supported by Tourism and Events Queensland
When: February 28-March 3
Where: Optus Aquatic Centre
Heats: 11am – Livestreamed at https://www.swimming.org.au/LIVE-streaming.aspx
Finals: 7:15 – on Network Seven - Check local guides for details