Wiffen sets Irish records, while Dawson returns at Scottish Nationals

Daniel Wiffen of Ireland (left) and Scotland’s Kathleen Dawson (right) both competed at Tokyo 2020.

Distance freestyle specialist Daniel Wiffen produced two incredible Irish records on the second day of the Scottish Short Course National Championships in Edinburgh.

The 21-year-old, who won 1500m silver for Northern Ireland at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games this summer, had broken the 400m individual medley Irish record with a time of four minutes 11.05 seconds on the opening day of competition.

He went one better than that with two new landmark times in the 1500m on Saturday.

Wiffen’s split of 7:35.71 lowered his existing 800m record, while his 1500m finishing time of 14:14.45 was not only the quickest time in Irish history, but also the third-fastest ever produced by a European swimmer.

Elsewhere four-time European champion Kathleen Dawson made her long-awaited return to the pool after a back injury saw her ruled out of the 2022 World and European Championships as well as the Commonwealth Games.

An issue with a ‘bulging disk’ emerged after she claimed three gold medals at the Budapest 2021 Europeans and then impacted her performances at the Tokyo Olympics.

She won her signature 100m backstroke event at the Royal Commonwealth Pool on Saturday and hopes that while her condition is incurable, she can manage the injury and return to the elite level of the sport in 2023.

“It’s so good to be back in the water after the turbulent year and a half that I’ve had, racing under the lights in front of a crowd again,” she told Scottish Swimming.

Kathleen Dawson – image courtesy of Scottish Swimming

“I would have liked to have gone a little bit faster (than 58.15 secs) in the final there tonight, because I know it’s what I’m capable of, even when I’m just back in the water, so a bit bittersweet, but the overall emotion is happiness.

“I’ve learned that I’m resilient. I’m putting no expectations on myself, no pressure on myself – I’m just enjoying being back in the pool.”

For a full round-up of the action from the Scottish National Short Course Championships, follow this link, or CLICK HERE for the latest race results from Edinburgh.

You can also follow the event and catch up on previous sessions via Scottish Swimming’s LIVE STREAM.