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Life without swim coach 'scary': Larkin

AAP logoAAP 4/11/2016 Laine Clark

Life without a coach has been "scary" at times for Mitch Larkin.

And a poolside reunion with former mentor Michael Bohl this week proved "uncomfortable".

But the dual world swimming champion was adamant his surprise decision to dump long-term coach Bohl after the Rio Olympics was the right one.

Larkin returned to racing for the first time since Rio at this week's national short course titles in Brisbane.

The selection trials for December's world short course titles in Windsor, Canada, are being held at Larkin's hometown pool.

But Larkin admitted to feeling out of sorts at the meet without the familiar sight of Bohl by his side.

"It's weird. It's uncomfortable that he's not there," Larkin said.

"Some days are good when I look long term and I am OK (about changing coaches).

"But some days I get a bit scared.

"I don't have a swimming family, I don't have a coach, a person I can lean on and ask those questions, so it's a bit scary."

And bumping into Bohl poolside didn't help, either.

"I saw him on pool deck and it is kind of a little bit awkward," Larkin said.

"But we will get over that.

"He has done so much for my career.

"I am sure after this meet it will go back to normal."

Still, Larkin was convinced he had to make a change after the Rio Olympics.

Larkin was favoured to claim a golden backstroke double in Brazil but was upstaged by US's Ryan Murphy and walked away with 200m silver and medley relay bronze after a shock 100m fourth placing.

"I could do another two years under Bohly but the question was: could I do four years?," Larkin said.

"I decided I was going to change it and not have any regrets over the next four years.

"Sometimes I ask whether I have made the right choice.

"But in the long run hopefully it was the right choice."

He hopes to decide on his new coach by the new year.

Then again, Larkin appears to be coping without a full-time mentor for now.

He claimed the 200m backstroke gold on Friday night in an impressive one minute 47.41 seconds.

Larkin's partner and fellow dual world champion Emily Seebohm also stood out in Friday's 12 finals, taking out the 100m IM, 100m backstroke and 50m freestyle national titles.

The three-day national short course titles conclude on Saturday night.

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