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Swim star Larkin eyes even bigger 2016

  • Swim star Larkin eyes even bigger 2016

    Mitchell Larkin of Australia reacts after winning the Men's 200m backstroke final during the FINA World Swimming Cup 2015 at the Hamad Aquatic Centre in the Qatari capital, Doha, on November 3, 2015. AFP PHOTO / AL-WATAN DOHA / KARIM JAAFAR ==QATAR OUT== (Photo credit should read KARIM JAAFAR/AFP/Getty Images)

Last year was an outstanding one for Australian swim star Mitch Larkin but he has an even bigger 2016 planned.

With the Rio Olympics looming, the newly-crowned FINA Male Swimmer of Year wants to build on the momentum he has going at this weekend's Perth Aquatic Super Series.

The 22-year-old backstroke sensation starred in the 2015 world titles and the World Cup and broke the world 200m record at the Australian short-course titles in November.

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But he plans on going even faster by the time he gets to the Australian Olympic trials in Adelaide in April.

"I swam a couple of weeks ago at (the Victorian Open Championships), so if I can swim faster here than I did there, I would be really happy," he said on Thursday.

"If I can swim faster than I did at Worlds last year, at trials, I will be really happy. And if I can swim faster again at the Olympics, that will be fantastic.

"This event is a good start to the year. It's the first international and there's some really good competition."

Larkin's main threat comes in the form of China's world No.4 Xu Jiayu with Japanese star Ryosuke Irie not making the trip to Perth.

The Super Series pits the best of the Australian team against those from Japan and China over two nights.

The Dolphins team will also feature world champions Emily Seebohm and Bronte Campbell, with James Magnussen, continuing his comeback from shoulder surgery, lining up with world championship silver medallist Cam McEvoy in the 50 and 100m freestyle.

The Chinese team has been hit by the withdrawal of dual Olympic freestyle champion from London Sun Yang and Xu Danlu, who have both been forced out of the event due to injury.

The Chinese Swimming Federation said the pair had "suffered sudden injuries and would not be able to participate in the competition as scheduled".

It's believed Yang, who won gold in the 400m and 1500m freestyle in world record time in 2012 and who is the reigning 400 and 800m freestyle world champion, has a foot injury.

He has been replaced by Hou Yujie, while Xu has been replaced by Zhang Jiaqi.

The Super Series will be contested in an outdoor 10-lane pool at HBF Stadium.

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