Swimming at the World Aquatics Championships got underway in Doha, Qatar, with Daniel Wiffen securing his place in the 400m Freestyle Final, while a nervous wait lies ahead for the Women’s 4x100m Freestyle Relay, their Olympic fate in the hands of Slovenia.

Wiffen, ranked ninth going into the 400m Freestyle heats, put in an impressive performance to comfortably secure his place in this evening’s Final. The Armagh man was third in his heat and fourth overall in 3:45.52, just outside his best time of 3:44.35.

Speaking after the race, Wiffen said ‘I just went for the chill option, I didn’t want to go too fast, my goal was to try and make the final at this meet, because I’ve never done this before, so I mean that’s what I did and I’m happy.’

In December Wiffen won three gold medals and set a new World Record at the European Short course Championships in Romania, the 22-year-old has brought that confidence to Doha ‘I wasn’t really that rested for Europeans and I’m fully rested for this, so I’m looking forward to what this week is going to bring; but 400m Freestyle Final tonight and we’ll see if I can push up the ranks a bit.’

The 400m Freestyle Final will take place today at 4.02pm (IRL). Ireland have never won a World Aquatics Long Course (50m) Medal. Shane Ryan (2018 bronze), Ellen Walshe (2021 silver) and Mona McSharry (2021 bronze) have all won medals at World Short Course (25m) Championships.

Ireland Women’s 4x100m Freestyle Relay will now need to wait a few hours to find out their Olympic destiny. The quartet of Erin Riordan, Grace Davison, Maria Godden and Victoria Catterson clocked 3:43.95 in this morning’s heats for 10th overall, however, the Ireland teams time of 3:41.75 which included Riordan and Catterson with Mona McSharry and Danielle Hill from World Championships in Fukuoka in 2023, was fast enough to keep them in the required top sixteen Olympic places, moving down one place from fifteenth in Fukuoka.

The team’s fate now lies with Slovenia, who would take the position from Ireland if they are quicker than 3:41.75 in tonight’s Final.

Darragh Greene, swimming the 100m Breaststroke was 20th overall, after he touched 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.

Daily reports will issue from Doha.

Swimming Heats Results Day 1

Men 400m Freestyle                                      Daniel Wiffen                    3:45.52 (4th)

Men 50m Butterfly                                         Shane Ryan                       23.83 (26th)

Men 100m Breaststroke                                 Darragh Greene                1:00.70 (20th)

Women 4x100m Freestyle Relay                     Ireland                              3:43.95 (10th)

(Erin Riordan, Grace Davison, Maria Godden, Victoria Catterson)


Schedule – Day 1 Finals

Men 400m Freestyle Final                            Daniel Wiffen                    16.02 (IRL)