Daniel Wiffen in dreamland in Doha

Armagh man convinced the best is still to come after another gold

Daniel Wiffen with his gold medal after winning the Men's 800m freestyle final at the World Aquatics Championships at the Aspire Dome in Doha, Qatar PICTURE Ian MacNicol/Sportsfile (Ian MacNicol / SPORTSFILE/SPORTSFILE)

DANIEL Wiffen is convinced his best is still to come as he stormed to gold in the 1,500m freestyle final on the final day of the World Aquatics Championships in Doha.

The Magheralin man made history on Thursday when he became the first Irish swimmer to claim a medal at a long-course World Championships and, while he was only the sixth seed for Sunday’s final, he insisted he had swum within himself in winning his Saturday heat.

“That race was definitely better for me,” an elated Wiffen told RTÉ afterwards.

“Coming here, the progression from the 400 to the 800 to the 1,500, I’m so happy to come away with a PB and two world titles.

“I’m so happy because after hitting that time in April, it could have been a fluke. I went 14:35 in the U23s, in my back garden really, in Dublin.

“I was talking about it with my coach Andi [Manley] - and we had a little bet as to whether I was going to PB or not - but [the plan was] 100% to go out a bit faster than everybody else and just be in my own lane, get out ahead and really focus on what I was going to do.”

Wiffen was two and a half seconds outside the championship record and six off the world-record mark set by Sun Yang at the 2012 Olympics, which he has firmly in his sights: “It’s definitely one of my goals to try and beat that at some point,” he added.

“I’m only 22, I’ve got at least another eight years, another couple of Olympics in me. I’m sure it’ll go at some stage and I hope to be the person to do it.”