July 27, 2021

On their Olympic Games debuts today in Tokyo, Ireland’s Daniel Wiffen and Jack McMillan both set new Irish Senior Records, with Wiffen claiming a new mark in the 800m Freestyle and McMillan in the 200m Freestyle whilst leading out the historic Irish Men’s 4x200m Freestyle Relay.

McMillan’s new record came as he led out the first Irish men’s swimming relay to ever compete at the Games, with this occasion also being the first time an Irish relay has featured at an Olympic Games since 1972.

The Bangor swimmer had never dipped under the 1:47 mark until now, and he stormed home in 1:46.66 to smash his previous Irish Senior Record of 1:47.10. Finn McGeever, Brendan Hyland and Shane Ryan all followed strongly to give Ireland a finishing time of 7:15.58 and an ultimate placing of 14th, with the team entering the meet as 15th ranked.

McMillan said: “It’s my dream since I was a little kid, to be finally here is class. The experience out there was unbelievable, once in a lifetime!

"It’s great to just be here and race with the lads for the relay, and we wouldn’t be here without Jordan (Sloan) and Gerry (Quinn), so a shout out to them. Hopefully we did them proud. Everyone stepped up, couldn’t ask for anything more.”

It was only shortly afterwards that Daniel Wiffen lined up in lane 8 for Heat 3 of the 800m Freestyle. Keeping his cool and finishing strongly, Wiffen won the heat in 7:51.65, lowering his own Irish Senior Record by more than a second, having set that in April when qualifying for the Games at the Irish National Team Trials.

Wiffen said: “I am ecstatic! I got a Personal Best on the big stage. I came out top of the race. It is the Olympics, and I am happy to be here.

"I felt it was like a one-on-one race at the end and I thought, 'I have got to win this. I have got to show the nation what I am capable of'.'

Wiffen, from Magheralin in Northern Ireland, came into this event ranked 24th and finished 14th overall, moving up 10 places. The 20-year-old returns to the Tokyo Aquatic Centre on Friday for the 1500m Freestyle heats, an event in which he also holds the Irish Senior Record of 15:16.90.

Starting Team Ireland’s day in the pool on Tuesday was Longford’s Darragh Greene, who finished 23rd overall in 200m Breaststroke, having swum 2:11.09 in a fast fifth and final heat.

Full results: Olympic Schedule & Results - 27 Jul | Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Schedule, Wednesday – July 28

11:36 Mona McSharry - 200m Breaststroke (Heat 1) - 2:25.92