World record broken as Loughborough swimmers clinch huge medal haul in Bucharest

Loughborough swimmer Daniel Wiffen

Loughborough University student Daniel Wiffen broke the world record at the European Short Course Championships in Bucharest, Romania. Image provided by Still Sport Photography.

Daniel Wiffen produced a magnificent performance to break the 800m freestyle world record at the European Short Course Championships in Romania.

Louise Hansson swimming the butterfly stroke
Louise Hansson in action at a previous event. Image provided by Still Sport Photography.

The current Loughborough University student touched the wall in 7 minutes 20.46 seconds to overhaul Australian great Grant Hackett’s record that had stood for 15 years.

Sunday’s performance by Wiffen capped an incredible championships for the 22-year-old who had already won gold in both the 1500m and 400m freestyle respectively.

Wiffen’s victory in the 400m saw him become the first Irish swimmer to win a gold medal at a European Short Course Championships, whilst the 1500m crown saw him set a new personal best and Irish senior record time of 14:09.11 – the third fastest in history.

Elsewhere in the pool, it also proved to be an extraordinary competition for fellow Loughborough athletes.

Sweden international Louise Hansson secured a mammoth five medals in yet another outstanding showing by the 27-year-old.

That included a hat-trick of golds as she made the top of the podium in the women’s 4x50m freestyle relay, the women’s 100m butterfly, and the women’s 4x50m freestyle medley relay final – the latter alongside her sister and Loughborough swimmer, Sophie Hansson.

Louise added further medals with silver in the women’s 50m backstroke final, and bronze in the women’s 100m individual medley.

There was also double gold for both Alex Cohoon and Lewis Burras who combined brilliantly to take the men’s 4x50m freestyle title – in a new British record of 20.47 – and the mixed 4 x50m freestyle win in a Championship record of 1.27.75.

Freya Colbert had a competition to remember by winning silver in the women’s 400m individual medley. She also added a well-deserved bronze in the women’s 200m freestyle event.

In yet more standout Loughborough performances, Belgium’s Lucas Henveaux secured a national record in the men’s 400m to take bronze in 3.37.91.

Laura Stephens also got in on the act by claiming a brilliant bronze as part of Great Britain’s women’s 4x50m medley team.

The European Short Course Championships in Bucharest, Romania, took place between 5-10 December 2023.