Yeah, his steady improvement continues - a real beneficiary of the Ireland development program and has also really come on in big leaps since the move to Loughborough. Took four seconds off his 800m PB in the heat, which is fair going. He was the complete surprise package at the Olympics, and really sealed the deal in Tokyo due to his ability to PB in big races - that's not at all a given for swimmers at the Olympics. He had some major PBs in the heats there.
Daniel Wiffen going in the 800 final in the worlds at budapest today at 17.02
His form has continued, and now his times are up there with the best.
This event used to be bossed by Ian Thorpe and Grant Hackett - all in the high 7:30s / low 7:40s, then the scoobydubious Chinese lads made big inroads around 10-12 years ago (along with a fella from Tunisia, that noted swimming powerhouse). The records have remained static since those feens were ushered off the stage. Assuming there's none of that craic going on ATM, then Wiffen should be right up there - but would not be favoured for a medal today.
However, whatever about shorter distances, to achieve over the longer distance is a real sign of a quality program and is another feather in the cap for Swim Ireland and for John Rudd. They have made Herculean efforts over the past 5 or 6 years, let's hope it can continue after Rudd's departure.
Wiffen is that rare endurance athlete - consistent, big-event-focused, and able to peak at precisely the right time - long may he continue.