Daniel Wiffen sets new world record as he wins freestyle 800m gold medal


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DANIEL WIFFEN HAS set a new freestyle 800m short course world record while winning a third gold medal at the European Short Course Championships.  

The 22-year-old took almost three seconds off Grant Hackett’s 15-year-old record as he finished in 7:20.46.  

“That world record, I think it’s one of the oldest in the book,” said Wiffen. “To beat his record is just amazing. I look up to him every day.”

Speaking to European Aquatics after the swim Wiffen said “It’s amazing. 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. I actually felt horrible during the morning so it’s great to swim that fast when I’ve been feeling that way.’
 
‘This is the hardest ever period (of racing) as I’ve had ten days of racing. I’ve done four 1500’s, three 800’s and two 400’s in ten days and to finish off with the world record just proves my fitness.”

The Magheralin man beat France’s David Aubry into second, almost 10 seconds back in 7:30.32, while Ukraine’s Mykhailo Romanchuk was third. Wiffen’s twin brother Nathan finished eighth.   

Wiffen won the 1500m and 400m freestyle crowns earlier in the week.

This European Championships has proven itself to be Ireland’s most successful outing at an international swimming Championships, particularly when you look at some of the outcomes from the six days in Otopeni, Romania. Ireland collected four medals, with three of them being gold, and swimmers re-wrote Irish Senior Records on 15 occasions, with four Irish Junior Records also claimed here.
 
Even though this team did not feature the likes of Mona McSharry, Conor Ferguson or Darragh Greene on this occasion, Irish swimmers competed in 12 finals and 20 semi-finals across the twelve sessions, very much establishing Ireland as a serious swimming force in Europe. 

Ireland’s preparation plan into the World Championships in Doha in February is in place, as is the plan from the World’s into Ireland’s final Olympic Trials in Dublin in May. Ireland has three relays in provisional Olympic qualification positions from the 2023 World Championships in Fukuoka and will hope to cement these slots when Doha comes around, striving for this alongside the ambition to have more swimmers and divers adding their names to the Paris flight list via individual performances at this Championships.




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