Larkin and Campbell put Australia back on top

Fri Aug 7, 2015 3:22pm EDT
 
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By Rod Gilmour

KAZAN, Russia (Reuters) - Mitchell Larkin completed a rare backstroke double and Bronte Campbell won the blue riband women's 100 meters freestyle title as Australia celebrated another golden night at the world swimming championships.

The pair both set Oceanian records as Larkin, triumphant in the 200 meters, became the first man since Aaron Peirsol, of the United States, 10 years ago to win both the 100m and 200m backstroke at the same world championships.

For Campbell, there was the bittersweet feeling of beating her older sister Cate, who had been seeking to become the first woman to successfully defend the 100m freestyle crown but had to settle for the bronze.

The double triumph enabled the Australian team to join Britain and the U.S. at the top of the medal table with five golds apiece with two days of the championships left.

Americans had won the last eight world 200m backstroke titles since 1998 and were counting on Olympic champion Tyler Clary or Ryan Murphy to keep the record in tact but 22-year-old Larkin again proved a class apart as he triumphed in 1 minute 53.58 seconds.

Japan's Ryosuke Irie had led for the first 100m but Larkin's powerful surge off the wall on the final turn left his rivals trailing.

Poland's Radoslaw Kawecki took silver in 1:54.55, with Russia's Evgeny Rylov taking bronze as Irie faded to fourth. Murphy could only finish fifth and Clary seventh.

"I could feel the guys next to me at my hip so I knew I was swimming well," said Larkin. "It is now a matter of lifting the levels and seeing what happens next.   Continued...

 
Australia's Mitchell Larkin celebrates with his gold medal after winning the men's 200m backstroke final at the Aquatics World Championships in Kazan, Russia August 7, 2015. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth