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Larkin mulls over medley swim future

For a backstroker, Mitch Larkin sure makes a good medley swimmer.

And that's the problem.

Larkin admits he faces an agonising choice whether to juggle both events at the Tokyo Olympics after setting a 200m individual medley Commonwealth record at the world titles trials in Brisbane.

Olympic champion Kyle Chalmers produced a hard act to follow when he won the 100m freestyle final in 47.35 seconds - the world's fastest time this year.

But Larkin quickly stole the limelight on night four of the six-day trials on Wednesday when he claimed the 200m IM final in a record one minute 55.72 seconds.

He took almost half a second off his personal best time to rocket to the world No.1 200m IM ranking ahead of next month's world championships in South Korea.

Remarkably former dual world backstroke champion Larkin dedicates just one session a week to medley training for a "bit of fun".

But Larkin admitted he may have to take the medley event seriously at Tokyo 2020 if he achieves more IM success at July's world titles in Gwangju, South Korea.

"I have fun with it. I don't put too much pressure on myself like the backstroke," Larkin said.

Larkin said the medley's clash with his pet event the 200m backstroke on the Olympic program - which does not occur at the worlds - was the only thing holding him back from committing to the IM at Tokyo.

"If there wasn't a clash I would consider it a lot more," he said.

"To do both I don't want to jeopardise one. At Olympics you have to put all your eggs in one basket.

"If I did (both medley and backstroke) and it wasn't the best I would look back and regret it."

Larkin, 25, has regained his mojo under coach Dean Boxall after some lean years following his stunning 2015 success.

Back then he won both the 100m and 200m backstroke world titles before being named FINA Male Swimmer of the Year.

However, Larkin sensationally cut ties with his then coach Michael Bohl and never reached those stunning heights again - until now.

"Looking back four years ago, I want to get back there," Larkin said.

"But now I don't care about expectations. I just want to swim fast."

--End of article--

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