Daniel Wiffen Breaks Decades-Old Swimming Record at European Aquatics Short Course Championships
In a monumental feat, Ireland’s Daniel Wiffen rewrote history at the European Aquatics Short Course Championships held in Otopeni, Romania. Wiffen’s astounding performance in the 800m Freestyle Final shattered Grant Hackett’s longstanding 2008 record by nearly three seconds, clocking an unbelievable time of 7:20.46, a momentous achievement considering Hackett had held the record since August 2001.
This victory marked Wiffen’s third gold and third European Title of the Championships. The Magheralin native not only claimed the European and Championship records but also earned the prestigious male swimmer of the meet award.
Reflecting on his outstanding performance, Wiffen expressed his initial reluctance to disclose his pursuit of the world record, stating, “I had people messaging me asking if I was going to try and break the world record, but I was trying to keep it under wraps that I was in the shape for it.”
Despite feeling fatigued after an intense ten-day racing period, which included multiple events, Wiffen’s determination prevailed, culminating in a world record-breaking swim. He highlighted the evolution of his performance over the past year and his drive to elevate his standing from previous fourth-place finishes.
Alongside Wiffen, Nathan Wiffen also competed in the 800m Final, securing eighth place and achieving his second fastest time ever in the event. His debut on the senior international stage was marked by commendable performances, despite grappling with fatigue.
This Championships proved to be Ireland’s most successful outing at an international swimming event, showcasing remarkable achievements such as four medals, three of them gold, and the rewriting of numerous Irish Senior and Junior Records.
Jon Rudd, Swim Ireland National Performance Director, hailed Wiffen’s achievement as a landmark moment in Irish sporting history and emphasized the team’s exceptional performance at the Championships.
Looking ahead, Ireland is geared up for the World Championships in Doha and subsequent Olympic Trials, with a strategic plan in place to secure more qualification slots and further elevate the country’s standing in the world of swimming.
- The future looks promising for Irish swimming, with high hopes pinned on upcoming competitions and the determination to expand representation at the Paris Olympics through stellar performances.