2018 Commonwealth Games: Dominant Mitch Larkin completes backstroke Triple Crown

By @saihoops on
Mitch Larkin
Swimming - Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games - Men's 200m Backstroke - Medal Ceremony - Optus Aquatic Centre - Gold Coast, Australia - April 9, 2018. Gold medalist Mitch Larkin of Australia on the podium. Reuters / David Gray

Australian swimmer Mitch Larkin on Sunday swept an unprecedented Triple Crown at the 2018 Commonwealth Games with a third gold medal in the 200m backstroke. The Brisbane swimmer added to his tally of 100m and 50m gold medals he had earlier won at the Carrara Stadium in Gold Coast, Queensland.

Larkin (1:56.10) stormed hope down the last lap after fellow Aussie Brad Woodward (1:56.57) led him through the middle sector. While Woodward finished with silver, Josh Beaver (1:57.04), another Australian, claimed the bronze medal.

“Unbelievable. The medals mean so much more (than just medals) ... they represent so much hard training, all the ups-and-downs,” an emotional Larkin told the media, via The Daily Telegraph.

Meanwhile, Larkin came to the aide of girlfriend and fellow swimmer Emily Seebohm, who was dubbed as a "cry baby" for blaming the media for ruining her confidence at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. Seebohm narrowly missed out on the 100m backstroke gold medal after being pipped by just 0.03 seconds by Canadian world record holder Kylie Masse. Seebohm felt the media had been "downplaying her achievement."

"She then made a comment to you guys (print media) later about it and now there is stuff about her being a cry baby (on social media. She is anything but that. She is one of the toughest. You just have to see her medal cabinet at home to know how good a swimmer she is," Larkin said while defending his partner.

The 24-year-old Mitch Larkin may now be onto bigger things at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. He participated in the previous two Olympic games but couldn't make a substantial impact. On Monday, Australia improved its 2018 Commonwealth Games medal tally to 100. The host country has already notched up 38 gold medals. England, with 61 medals, are in a distant second place.