Wiffen 7th in World Freestyle Final; Ireland Relay Edged Out of Olympic Quota Place
ByEmma Porter |
Daniel Wiffen has finished seventh in the final of the 400m Freestyle on the opening day of racing at the World Aquatics Championships in Doha, Qatar, while Ireland Women’s 4x100m Freestyle Relay were edged out of an automatic Olympic quota spot by three hundredths of a second.
Wiffen, who was ranked ninth coming into the event, was fourth in this morning’s heats in 3:45.52 and under the Olympic Qualification Time (OQT), clocked 3:46.65 in this evening’s final, ultimately finding the early pace of those around him too much.
An 800m and 1500m Freestyle specialist, Wiffen was swimming the 400m Freestyle for the first time at a World Championships. Speaking after the race, the Magheralin man said, “I wanted to make the final and I did think I’d be able to challenge for the podium, I am disappointed in the swim. I tried to go out fast and I think I paid for it in the backend, I don’t really have that speed that they have from the 200m Freestyle, I’m coming down to it unlike the rest of them.”
Looking ahead to the 800m and 1500m Freestyle later this week Wiffen said “100% I’m looking forward to getting back into what I like doing and that’s distance freestyle, so with 800m, I’ve a day off and need to get my recovery in, just bang out a solid 800m and try get on the podium in that one.”
Following this morning’s heats, Ireland’s 4x100m Freestyle Relay sat in sixteenth place in the Olympic Rankings, Slovenia the only team that could knock them out of that spot by swimming faster than Ireland’s 3:41.75 from the 2023 World Championships. It came agonisingly close, with Slovenia swimming this evening’s final in 3:41.72, just three hundredths of a second faster and moving Ireland to seventeenth and outside the automatic Olympic quota places.
Earlier today, Darragh Greene, swimming the 100m Breaststroke equalled his pre-meet ranking with 20th overall, after touching in 1:00.70, just outside the semi-final places.
In the 50m Butterfly heats, Shane Ryan was just off his best of 23.67 clocking 23.83 for 26th place overall. Ryan returns on Wednesday for his main event, the 100m Freestyle.
Mona McSharry, already qualified for Paris, makes her World Championships debut tomorrow in the 100m Breaststroke. McSharry was fifth in the Final in the 2023 edition of the event, and is ranked second going into tomorrow’s heats. Conor Ferguson and Maria Godden will also feature tomorrow in the 100m Backstroke.
Results Day 1
Men 400m Freestyle Daniel Wiffen H 3:45.52 (4th) F 3:46.65 (7th)
Men 50m Butterfly Shane Ryan H 23.83 (26th)
Men 100m Breaststroke Darragh Greene H 1:00.70 (20th)
Women 4x100m Freestyle Relay Ireland H 3:43.95 (10th) (Erin Riordan, Grace Davison, Maria Godden, Victoria Catterson)