Australia is on track to rule the pool when it comes to the backstroke events in Rio, with world champion Emily Seebohm leading the way for the women, and boyfriend (and also World Champion) Mitch Larkin at the helm for the men.
This week’s Cook & Phillip Saturday Set is inspired by Australia’s backstroke sensations, with the main set being based on Mitch Larkin’s often quoted ‘favourite set’. The actual set includes 100m back repeats on a 1.45 interval, holding 61s – so the difficulty rating has been downgraded for our Saturday morning session (unless there is an aspiring Olympic Wettie among you?!).
Emily Seebohm – Dual Olympian Seebohm will take to the pool in Rio in the 100m and 200m backstroke as well as the 4x100m medley relay after dominating her 10th National Championships in Adelaide.
Seebohm has an incredible list of recent achievements in the pool: 2 Olympic golds, 2 Olympic silvers, 4 World championship golds, 4 WC silvers & 2 WC Bronze. She was a world record holder for 50 Back, and hold the fastest textile 100 back record which is also the existing Olympic record.
One of the standout Australian swimmers in 2015, Seebohm became only the fifth woman in history - and first Australian to claim the 100m-200m double at World Championships in Kazan, Russia, alongside boyfriend and fellow World Champion Mitch Larkin.
Mitch Larkin – Larkin is the reigning FINA Swimmer of the Year, thanks to a stellar 2015. He is the first swimmer in 10 years - to complete the 100m-200m double at the World Championships. He also claimed multiple World Cup wins, and set the 200m back world short course record
Larkin won both the 100m and 200m backstroke at the Nationals/Trials. His 100m backstroke win (52.54) was just 0.04 off his world title time from Kazan. Larkin's personal best is also the national and Commonwealth record of 52.11.
With all these accolades you would think Larkin would be a safe bet for gold in Rio in the backstroke events… but not if the Americans have anything to say about it. As US trials both Ryan Murphy and David Plumber were within thousands of a second of Mitch’s best times. This race will be one to watch!
Click here to download the World Champion’s backstroke set!
A rendition of Larkin’s favourite set appears here: https://swimswam.com/the-training-and-development-of-mitch-larkin/ but has been noted similarly in various articles this year.