Daniel Wiffen Sets European Record Finishing Fourth in World Final
Ireland’s wait for a world long course medal continues, but Daniel Wiffen showed his world class abilities finishing fourth in the World Championships 800m Final in a new European Record, the Magheralin man now the holder of both the long (50m) and short (25m) course European records.
In an incredible final Wiffen was just .52 away from bronze finishing in 7:39.19, taking almost five seconds off his Irish Record of 7:43.81 set in yesterday’s heat, and .08 of a second off Italian Gregoria Paltrinieri’s European record of 7:39.27 set at the 2019 World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea. The 22-year-old is now the number nine all time performer in the event.
A delighted Wiffen commented ‘It was a good race, I’m really happy with the personal best and really looking forward to the 1500m Freestyle later in the week, but that race was great to be part of. Missing the podium, you know; I came into this, and I just wanted to be better than last year, and I’ve done that by a lot so I’m happy enough.’
It’s a golden age for men’s distance swimming and Wiffen is relishing being part of it ‘It’s so good, I’m happy there’s a race in that because I just love to race and that was definitely one of the best races I’ve ever had, and I loved every minute of it, I’m looking forward to what’s next.’
The final was won by Tunisia’s Ahmed Hafnaoui in 7:37.00, silver went to Australia’s Sam Short in a new Oceania record of 7:37.76 and another continental record finished the podium with the UAS’s Bobby Finke bagging bronze ahead of Wiffen in 7:38.67.
Speaking about his race plan going in Wiffen said ‘My plan was to try stick with them for as long as possible, I was happy the way I did it to be honest, I was just on the hip the whole time, my third 200m was probably a bit off and my last 200m was great, so maybe next time I tweak the third 200m but I can’t really complain about my plan’.
Wiffen returns to the pool on Saturday for his main event, the 1500m Freestyle, where he is third ranked, he said ‘I said on poolside there that if I can take 5 seconds off my 1500m that I’m under the world record, so let’s hope that happens!’.