Daniel Wiffen wins European Championship gold medal in 400m freestyle

Irish swimmer knocks off almost three seconds of his own national record to overcome World Championships podium disappointment

Irish swimmer Daniel Wiffen has won a gold medal in the 400m freestyle at the European Short Course Championships, setting a new Irish record in the process.

Wiffen, who came fourth in the 1500m freestyle at the World Championships in July, overcame that podium disappointment emphatically on Tuesday, touching home in a time of 3:35.47 in Otopeni, Romania.

Prior to today, Wiffen’s previous career best was 3:38.4, which he set at the 2022 Irish Championships. Wiffen’s time in Romania places him marginally outside the top-10 performers of all time at this distance.

Wiffen’s time was over a second faster than the runner-up, Danas Rapsys of Lithuania who touched home in 3:37.8. Lucas Henveaux of Belgium, who set a new national record of his own, stopped the clock at 3:37.91 to take the bronze medal.


“That race was amazing to be part of,” says Wiffen. “I got to the 200m and everyone was close together and I thought I’m going to go now or never, so I just went, and it worked out.

“It just felt amazing, I don’t know what to say, I’m stuck for words, we do so much work in training and then this is on the back of winning at U23s in Dublin and to win in the next European’s is great.”

Ellen Walshe added her name to the list of now ten Irish medallists at the European Short Course Championships after she won bronze in the 400m Individual Medley.

The Templeogue swimmer clocked 4:29.64, just six tenths of a second off silver medallist Freya Colbert (4:29.04) of Great Britain. Walshe is the Irish record holder in the event in 4:26.52, a swim in which she won silver at the 2021 World Short Course Swimming Championships

“It’s great, I can be a little hurt that I was faster than that previously but where I’m at in my training, heading into Paris, a European medal is a European medal, so I’m delighted,” said Walshe.