Daniel Wiffen came agonisingly close to winning Northern Ireland’s first medal at the Commonwealth Games when he finished fourth in the 400m Freestyle Final, missing bronze by just .13 of a second.
An incredible effort from the Magheralin Olympian saw him swim a second Irish record in Birmingham, coming home in 3:46.62, behind three Australians, who had a clean sweep of the podium.
On Friday morning, Wiffen placed himself as the top seed for the final in 3:47.43, knocking over a second off his own Irish record of 3:48.75 set in April this year.
Australia’s Elijah Winnington won gold in 3:43.06 ahead of team-mates Sam Short (3:45.07) and Mack Horton (3:46.49).
Wiffen returns to the pool on Tuesday for his main event, the 1500m Freestyle.
Northern Ireland's first ever medal in the pool came around half an hour after Wiffen had taken to the water.
Swimming in lane two of this evening’s direct final, Paralympian Barry McClements was ranked outside of the medals in fifth place with a best time of 1:05.76. A brilliant swim from the Newtownards man, in a personal best of 1:05.09, saw him pick up bronze and a first international medal in the S9 100m Backstroke Final.
The race was won by Australia’s Tomothy Hodge in 1:01.88 with New Zealand’s Jesse Reynolds claiming silver in 1:03.65.
McClements returns to the pool for the Men’s 100m Butterfly.
Having broken a long-standing Irish record in the 200m Freestyle heats this morning in 1:59.86, Victoria Catterson swam her third fastest time ever in the event clocking 2:00.65 for eighth overall. Catterson will likely be back in the pool for the 4x100m Freestyle Relay, the team being named tomorrow.
Saturday will see Jack McMillan, Danielle Hill and Mollie McAlorum make their Birmingham Games debuts. McMillan will compete in the 200m Freestyle, Hill in the 50m Freestyle and 100m Backstroke and McAlorum and Davison in the 50m Freestyle. Northern Ireland will also be represented in the 4x100m Freestyle Relay which will be a direct final in tomorrow’s evening session.