LEN ratifies Daniel Wiffen’s 800m European record as the Magheralin twins continue their winning streak
Daniel Wiffen’s 800m freestyle gold medal-winning time of seven minutes and 25.96 seconds has been officially ratified as a new European short course record by LEN, the governing body of European Aquatics. This was the fourth fastest time ever posted for the 800m in the world and Daniel achieved the number one ranking in the world for this event as well as the 1500m in 2022.
“I’m so happy and it’s class to have my name up there on the record sheets with all of the best swimmers in Europe,” Wiffen told Swim Ireland after the ratification.
The high profile swimming athletes, Magheralin identical twins Daniel and Nathan Wiffen, attended St Patrick’s Grammar School in Armagh prior to attending Loughborough University to study computer science. Both train in the Loughborough University Swimming Team which is regarded as one of the world’s best swimming programmes.
The brothers have continued their winning streak into the new 2023 LC swimming season, competing last week at the Irish Open Swimming Championships in Dublin. The first day was the 400m freestyle and, after fantastic heat swims, Daniel and Nathan claimed the two middle lanes. Daniel took the first 200m out hard to obtain an early lead, with Nathan in 3rd place. Nathan then steadily picked up the pace to close out the race in second place behind Daniel (3:52.83) with a time of 3:54.65, a 5 second personal best time. Daniel also set a new championship record in this event and it was wonderful to see the two brothers celebrate on the podium together.
Following his successful Commonwealth Games where he won a silver medal, Daniel only needed to achieve the qualifying time in the 400m freestyle to combine with his other two previous events (800m and 1500m freestyle) to be eligible for the 2023 World Aquatics Championships in Japan. The 21-year-old Loughborough-based swimmer commented:
“I’d like to say I’m more of a long course than short course swimmer, so I’d like to get some of those conversions underway and try for some European and maybe even world records, so to excite the swimming fans.
The World Championships in Japan will be a tough one, where I’ll do my main events, but then I have a home championships here in Dublin with the European U23’s where I’ll be going for gold in front of home fans!
So, European long course records and being on the podium at Worlds are definitely the aims for this season.”
As part of the Irish Open Swimming Championships in Dublin, Daniel inspired the younger swimmers from the provincial squads at a ‘Meet and Greet’, sharing his personal experiences of the journey to becoming Ireland’s highest ranked swimmer, returning later to Loughborough to prepare for his targeted meet in Stockholm next week.
Ranked #2 in Ireland, Nathan continued the Wiffen podium success in the 800m freestyle at the Irish Open Swimming Championships. Swimming at a fast pace throughout the race, Nathan claimed the gold medal in a time of 8:03.79, a 10-second personal best, setting a new Irish championship record with the second fastest time for 800m. The final day brought the 1500m freestyle, and while Nathan has not swum this event for a couple of years, he was on superb form. He swam a strong race to finish two lengths ahead of his nearest competitor, claiming gold with a time of 15:34.17, a 10 second personal best time.
The next event for the brothers is the AP International Meet in the Olympic Aquatic Stadium in London. This was set up by Adam Peaty and features a number of high profile swimmers, including Daniel as a special guest swimmer. The brothers are continuing to update everyone with the “Wiffen Twins” Youtube vlog and via www.danielwiffenswimming.com.
Best of luck boys from everyone at getactiveabc