Daniel Wiffen confirmed for Olympic 10k marathon swim on river Seine

Concerns over quality of water in Paris river means rowing venue is on standby to host event

Ireland's Daniel Wiffen is set to compete in the 10k swim at the Olympic Games which is set to take place on the River Seine. Photograph: Andrea Staccioli/Inpho

Daniel Wiffen has been confirmed for the 10km marathon swimming event at the Paris Olympics, becoming Ireland’s first ever swimmer to compete in distance since it was added in 2008.

The race is due to take place in the river Seine on Friday, August 9th, after the pool events in the first week of the Games, where Wiffen is also entered in the 400m, 800m and 1,500m freestyle.

A record 57 swimmers, confirmed by their respective national Olympic committees and federations, will compete between the men and women, 13 of which achieved the Olympic qualification standard in either the 800m or 1,500m freestyle.

Wiffen is the number one ranked swimmer in the world this season in the men’s 800 and 1,500 freestyle, the 22-year-old from Armagh having won both titles at the World Championships in Doha back in February.

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“It’s on my schedule, yeah,” Wiffen told The Irish Times last week. “To be honest, it depends on how the pool goes, but I am entered though.”

There are still major concerns about the water quality in the Seine, with the rowing venue east of Paris confirmed as an alternative venue should water fail quality tests closer to the event: “I’ve heard they’ll just block off either end of the river, and just clean that off completely, if it’s clean enough in time,” said Wiffen.

The loaded men’s field already features defending Olympic champion and 2023 world champion Florian Wellbrock from Germany, 2022 world champion Gregorio Paltrinieri from Italy, and 2024 world champion Kristof Rasovszky from Hungary.

Marathon swimming made its Olympic debut at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. Paris will be the fifth time that the sport is contested at the Games.

Ian O'Riordan

Ian O'Riordan

Ian O'Riordan is an Irish Times sports journalist writing on athletics