Daniel Wiffen wins another gold medal and flirts with world record at European Championships

Armagh swimmer adds the 1500 freestyle crown to the 400m gold he won on Tuesday

Daniel Wiffen has won a second gold medal at the European Short Course Championships, recording the third fastest time in history in the final of the 1500m freestyle.

The Armagh native’s time of 14:09.11 lowered his own Irish record by over five seconds, and is within touching distance of the world record of 14:06.88.

This is Wiffen’s second medal of the championships having also won gold in the 400m freestyle on Tuesday in Otopeni, Romania.

Wiffen touched home well ahead of the chasing pack, with silver medallist David Aubry of France finishing 12.67 seconds back with a time of 14:21.78. Mykhailo Romanchuk of Ukraine took bronze in 14:22.18.

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Wiffen’s twin brother, Nathan, finished in eight position in a time of 14:38.75.

“It’s a great time,” acknowledged Wiffen of his race. “I knew I was going fast as I took it out fast, and I just wanted to see how long I could hold on, I got to the 500m, and I was really feeling it.

“It definitely hurt, but I expected to be that fast building on from the 400m title. I guess I’m just taking loads of confidence from this and hopefully will bring it back and convert it into long course [50m].”

Both Wiffen brothers will be back in the pool, Daniel on Saturday in the heats of the 800m freestyle. Daniel is the European record holder at this distance and will be favoured to add a third gold medal of these championships.

Elsewhere, Danielle Hill finished fourth in the 50m backstroke semi-final. Her time of 26.59, matching her Irish record which she set in the morning’s heats, was good enough for sixth overall and a place in Friday’s final.

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