The Down man created history on Thursday when he won the gold medal in the 800m freestyle, making history as the first Irish swimmer to win a medal in a long-course world championship.

Wiffen claimed he had swum inside himself to win his Saturday heat in 14:54.29, despite only being the sixth seed for the Sunday final.

By establishing the early pace and leading Turkey's Kuzey Tuncelli by four metres at the 500-meter mark, he verified that.

By the halfway point, the 22-year-old was on pace to break the world mark, with a difference of about six seconds.

Mykahilo Romanchuk of Ukraine was the closest at 1000 metres, at almost eight seconds behind, and Wiffen was obviously up against the time.

The Irishman's final third pace slowed slightly, but he still easily won the gold medal in a time that set a new Irish record of 14:34.07.


Florian Wellbrock of Germany placed second in 14:44.61, while David Aubry of France came in third in 14:44.85.

After the race, Wiffen said, “That race was definitely better for me. After coming here and going from the 400 to the 800 to the 1500, I'm overjoyed to have two world titles and a personal best.”

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Daniel Wiffen Becomes 800m Freestyle World Champion