By John Kenny
Chris Bryan will be the first Irish swimmer in action at the 2013 World Championships when he competes in the 10km Open Water swim on Monday at the Moll De La Fusta in Barcelona.
The 23-year-old from Clare, who has travelled straight to Barcelona from the World University Games in Russia, where he finished seventh on Wednesday, was placed 33rd in the 10km race at the last FINA Open Water Swimming Championships in Shanghai in 2011.
Competitors will have to swim inside a 2.5-kilometer circuit in the Barcelona harbour.
Bryan just missed out on qualifying for the London Olympics after a photo finish in the final qualifying event in Portugal, and will be hopeful of a top ten finish in Barcelona.
Bryan said: “This is the hardest, fastest distance swim in the world. Over 60 top class guys compared to only 25 that qualify in the Olympics, so it doesn’t get better than this. I can really test myself here and see what I can do.
Bryan has competed in a number of events in preparation for the World Championships.
The Ennis clubman won the Portuguese National 10-km Open in May and then travelled to Barcelona to race at the World Championship site, for a test event in the same venue as Monday’s race in June where he finished fifth.
Bryan is one of four Irish swimmers who will compete in the worlds, alongside Sycerika McMahon, Barry Murphy and Fiona Doyle who all take part in the pool competition.