Huge swimming shock as Grant Hackett’s 15-year-old record is obliterated – and you won’t believe where the new holder comes from

  • Grant Hackett’s world record has been shattered 
  • Daniel Wiffen broke the record for 800m freestyle 
  • Wiffen, from Ireland, smashed it by three seconds 

Irish swimmer Daniel Wiffen has broken Australian Grant Hackett’s long-standing record in the short course 800m freestyle by almost three seconds.

Wiffen finished in 7 minutes, 20.46 seconds to take gold at the European Short Course Swimming Championships in Otopeni, Romania on Sunday.

Hackett had held the record for 15 years after swimming 7:23.42 at the Victoria Championships on July 20, 2008.

France’s David Aubry was second to Wiffen in 7:30.32, while bronze went to Mykhailo Romanchuk of Ukraine in 7:31.20.

Wiffen, who had already won gold medals in the 400m and 1,500m freestyle at the championships, paid tribute to Hackett after breaking his record.

Daniel Wiffen has broken Grant Hackett’s world record for 800m freestyle

Hackett's record has been broken by over three seconds in stunning scenes

Hackett’s record has been broken by over three seconds in stunning scenes

‘I’m a big fan of Grant Hackett. He’s my idol swimmer,’ he told website Swim Swam.

‘I text him back and forth on Instagram and he’s a really nice guy.

‘That world record was so fast. I was two-and-a-bit seconds off it last year. To go and break it by such a big margin was amazing. It just puts perspective on how fast he was 15 years ago.’