Ryan 5th in Romania, as Wiffen Twins Advance to 1500M Final

ByEmma Porter |

Morning Session

Irish swimmers brought their outstanding form from the opening day of the European Short Course Championships into the second day of racing, with five swimmers progressing from this morning’s heats to finals and semi-finals.

Twins Daniel and Nathan Wiffen cruised into tomorrow’s 1500m Freestyle Final, progressing first and seventh respectively.

Daniel, who won Ireland’s first-ever European Short Course Gold medal last night in the 400m Freestyle, touched in 14:34.50, conserving his energy for the final, the 22-year-old has a best time of 14:14.45 in the event.

Speaking after the race Daniel said, “My goal there was just to try and make it as easy as possible after last night and the toll it would have had on me, so as easy as possible to make it back and I’m happy to be first and in lane four for the final.”

For Nathan, the swim secured a first European Final at his debut Team Ireland competition. The Loughborough swimmer, home in 14:39.34, knocked a massive nine seconds off his previous best of 14:48.69.

Ireland’s bronze medallist in the 400m Individual Medley, Ellen Walshe, was also back in action this morning in the 100m version of the event.

Walshe clocked 1:00.20 to progress to this evening’s semi-final in tenth place overall and is looking forward to this evening’s semi-final “It’s nice to have another swim tonight, the 100m IM is not something I race much, or anybody would race regularly, but it’s a quick speedy one and hopefully I’ll be faster tonight.”

Maria Godden, the first Irish swimmer in action this morning, made her European Short Course Championships debut in the 200m Backstroke Heats. The National Centre Limerick swimmer was third in her heat in a personal best time of 2:07.10 and advances to the semi-final in twelfth place.

In the Men’s 50m Freestyle, Tom Fannon was the best of three Irish swimmers and confirmed his semi-final place in 21.56.

Fannon holds the Irish long course (50m) record in the event and will be aiming to break the short course record of 21.35 in this evening’s semi-final. Also competing in the Men’s 50m Freestyle were Dylan Registe and Oisin Tebite, with both clocking personal best times of 22.50 and 22.87 respectively.

In the 100m Breaststroke, Liam O’Connor was second in his heat in a best time of 1:00.25 while Grace Davison touched in 1:02.47 in the 100m Individual Medley.

Shane Ryan will join Walshe, Godden and Fannon in action this evening, competing in the Final of the Men’s 50m Backstroke.

Evening Session

It was a night of close calls for Irish swimmers at the European Aquatics Short Course Championships with a medal and finals just out of reach for the four swimmers in action.

National Centre Dublin’s Shane Ryan got the second night of finals underway in Otopeni, in the final of the 50m Backstroke. The 29-year-old came agonisingly close to Ireland’s third medal of the Championships touching just two hundredths of a second behind the joint bronze medallists.

Ryan’s time of 23.12 secured fifth place overall behind France’s Mewen Tomac (22.84), Germany’s Ole Braunschweig and bronze medallists Lorenzo Mora and Thierry Bollin (23.10).

Speaking after the race Ryan said “It’s always difficult when you come into a meet not rested, as you still have expectations and I know what I’m capable of. I will keep a strong mind about it and look at the bigger picture as we’re saying here, so on to bigger and better things.”

Ryan will be back in action tomorrow in the 100m Backstroke Heats.

Tom Fannon was also unlucky to miss out this evening, the National Centre Dublin swimmer, just five hundredths of a second away from the top eight required to make the 50m Freestyle Final. There was a consolation however, as the 25-year-old set a new Irish Record of 21.21, breaking Shane Ryan’s 2021 record of 21.35. Fannon now holds both the short course (25m) and long course (50m) records in the event and claims the title of Ireland’s fastest ever swimmer.

After the 50m Freestyle semi-final, it was confirmed that Fannon will have an opportunity for another swim tomorrow. After a four-way tie for tenth place and the second reserve spot, Fannon will compete against three other swimmers at the end of tomorrow’s heats to see if he can secure tenth outright.

Ellen Walshe, who last night claimed a 400m Individual Medley bronze medal, was back in semi-final action in the 100m Individual Medley. The Templeogue swimmer touched in 1:00.11, bettering her time of 1:00.20 from this morning, to finish in tenth place overall.

In the women’s 200m Backstroke semi-final, National Centre Limerick’s Maria Godden swam another best time, improving on the 2:07.10 this morning, to a 2:06.71 for eleventh place overall.

2023 European Aquatics SC Swimming Championships (Otopeni, Romania)

Day 2 – Wednesday 6th December l Results


Women’s 200m Backstroke Maria Godden 2:07.10 (12th) SF 2:06.71 (11th)
Men’s 50m Freestyle Tom Fannon 21.56 (16th) SF 21.21 (10th) ISR
Dylan Registe 22.50 (43rd)
Oisin Tebite 22.87 (45th)
Men’s 100m Breaststroke Liam O’Connor 1:00.25 (29th)
Women’s 100m IM Ellen Walshe 1:00.20 (10th) SF 1:00.11 (10th)
Grace Davison 1:02.47 (25th)
Men’s 1500m Freestyle Daniel Wiffen 14:34.50 (1st)
Nathan Wiffen 14:39.34 (7th)
Men 100m Backstroke Shane Ryan 23.52 (6th) SF 23.19 (6th) F 23.12 (5th)


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