Wiffen Whips Out 800 Free Irish Record En Route To Tokyo Qualification


Morning 1 of day 1 of the 2021 Irish National Team Trials already saw two national records bit the dust in Dublin. Taking the men’s 800m freestyle top seed was Daniel Wiffen with the Larne Swimming Club athlete firing off a big-time personal best of 7:52.68 to land lane 4 for tomorrow night’s final.

Entering this meet, Wiffen’s personal best rested at the 8:06.20 he produced last December at the Winter Meet. However, the Loughborough-trained 19-year-old hacked over 13 seconds off of that result to not only beat out that previous PB, but to also nail a new Irish Senior Record in the process.

Wiffen’s outing here overtakes the previous Irish standard of 8:05.30 Andrew Meegan put on the books back in 2013. Additionally, Wiffen’s result this morning dips under the FINA ‘A’ time standard needed to qualify for this summer’s Olympic Games. That rested at 7:54.31, so the teen grazed the cut comfortably.

Splits included: 56.37/59.13/59.22/59.75/59.96/1:00.37/1:00.29/57.59.

Post-raced, an excited Wiffen stated, It’s probably the most nervous competition I’ve ever been to. I only managed to eat cereal for breakfast. I was thinking about it all day. I knew I had to be in and around 3:55 out on the 400m Free, so I wanted to be quite comfortable out. I kinda knew I went out the right time and towards the end I had a cheeky look at the clock on the last 50 to see where I was. I just got my head down then to get that time. It’s unbelievable – 19 and going to the Olympics. I am over the moon and I just have to thank my parents, my coaches and all of my friends for helping me get here.’

Wiffen’s time ranks the Irishman just outside the top 10 performers worldwide this season.

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2 years ago


2 years ago

Top swimming, congrats. Loughborough really are flying.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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