Catterson Breaks Smith’s 25 Year Old Irish Record, Wiffen Breaks 400 FR NR


  • Friday, July 29 – Wednesday, August 3, 2022
  • Birmingham, England
  • Sandwell Aquatic Center
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    • Prelims: 10:30 am local / 5:30 am ET
    • Finals: 7:00 pm local / 2:00 pm ET
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In the heats of the 2022 Commonwealth Games, two different Irish records were broken.

Northern Ireland’s Victoria Catterson finished seventh in the 200 free prelims, clocking a time of 1:59.86. She took down one of her nation’s oldest records in the books, Michelle Smith‘s 1:59.93 which had stood since 1997. Most notably, the year that Smith set that record was the year before FINA gave her a four year-ban for tampering with her urine sample using alcohol prior to doping tests. Smith was one of Ireland’s most decorated swimmers, having won three Olympic gold medals and four European Championships.

Catterson’s best time prior to the start of the meet was a 2:00.15, making today her first time under the two-minute barrier. She had previously been the third-fastest Irish woman of all time behind Smith and Grainne Murphy, who went 2:00.02 in 2012.

The other Irish record broken today was in the men’s 400 free. Daniel Wiffen, also representing Northern Ireland, took over a second off his old record time of 3:48.75, swimming a new personal best of 3:47.43 to finish first in the prelims. This marks the fourth time this year that Wiffen has broken this record, as he broke it once at the Stockholm Open in April and twice at the Barcelona Mare Nostrum stop in May.

Wiffen is also the Irish record holder in the 800 and 1500 freestyle events.

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NornIron Swim
2 months ago

Supersuit records might have an asterisk beside them in peoples heads, but the records of “she who must not be named” need an asterisk, a question mark and any other 15 pieces of punctuation you fancy.

Unfortunately there’s more to go but delighted this one has gone. Well done!!

Congratulations to Mr Wiffen too. Enjoy lane 4 in the final!

Reply to  NornIron Swim
2 months ago

I totally agree with your sentiment, and feel that anyone found guilty of a doping violation should have all prior records invalidated, even 10&U age group records.

About Yanyan Li

Yanyan Li

Although Yanyan wasn't the greatest competitive swimmer, she learned more about the sport of swimming through scoring countless dual meets, being a timer, and keeping track of her teammates' best times for three years as a team manager. She eventually ventured into the realm of writing and joined SwimSwam in …

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