Nathan Wiffen qualifies for 800m freestyle final as Shane Ryan breaks Irish record at European Championships in Serbia

Darragh Greene and Ireland mixed medley relay in action in Belgrade

Nathan Wiffen. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Darragh Greene and Ireland’s mixed medley relay were sixth and seventh respectively in their finals on a day of fine performances at the European Aquatics Championships in Belgrade, while Shane Ryan and John Shortt will join Nathan Wiffen, brother of world champion Daniel, in finals action on Wednesday.

Greene was the first Irish swimmer on the blocks this evening, competing in the men’s 100m breaststroke final. The Longford man, who placed 16th at the 2022 iteration of this competition, was swimming his first individual international final tonight. Greene performed strongly as he continued to drop times moving through the rounds and into the final, this time clocking 1:00.28 to place seventh in Europe.

“It’s my first individual final on the European stage and to go back after trials just three weeks later, I’m pretty happy with it. It’s indescribable when you get a chance to represent your country, it’s the main reason why we do it and put in the dedication into the sport itself is just to be able to represent your country as best as you can,” Greene said.

An Irish relay team of Lottie Cullen (backstroke), Eoin Corby (breaststroke), Max McCusker (butterfly) and Ellie McCartney (freestyle) featured in the mixed 4x100m medley relay final, the team secured a European sixth place finish with a time of 3:51.06, dropping five seconds off the morning swim.

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As the temperature dropped, the action in the pool heated up as Shane Ryan took centre stage for the 100 freestyle semi-final. Ryan blazed through the water to swim a lifetime best of 48.39, securing a place in the final in joint fifth with Lithuanian Danas Rapsys and Croatian Jere Hribar. The time broke the Irish record of 48.49 which Ryan set just three weeks ago at the Irish Open and Olympic Trials.

Ryan will return to the pool for the 100m freestyle final on Wednesday at 5.52pm.

John Shortt produced a fine performance to advance from the 200m backstroke semi-final in eighth place with a time of 1:58.89. The 17-year-old, who has competed at the 2023 and 2024 World Championships, will compete in his first senior international final on Wednesday.

Shortt will be back in the pool for the 200m backstroke final on Wednesday at 6.34pm.

Niamh Coyne, who earlier swam 1:09.06 to advance to the 100 breaststroke semi-final, returned to the water this evening, stopping the clock on 1:09.07 to place 13th in Europe. Coyne is back in action on Thursday for the 200m breaststroke.

On the other side of the city Clare Cryan, was in action in the 1m Springboard Final. Cryan placed eleventh in Europe with a score of 180.00 after five rounds, her best score came in the fifth and final dive scoring 46.80.

As well as finals for Ryan and Shortt on Wednesday, Nathan Wiffen will also be in action in the 800m freestyle final following Tuesday’s sixth place finish in the heats.