By John Kenny
Chris Bryan finished 16th at the FINA Open Water 10K World Championships in Barcelona.
The 23-year-old Clare man made a good start, quickly settling into the leading pack of 25 of the 65 swimmers, ending the first lap of the 2.5 Kilometre in the Barcelona Harbour course in 15th place, just eight seconds behind the leader.
Bryan moved up to 12th at the halfway mark after 55 minutes of swimming, just five seconds behind the leader Rhys Maidstone-Hodson of New Zealand.
Then with just 2.5 Kilometres to go, Bryan had slipped back into 26th place, still with the leading pack and just 14 seconds behind Canadian Richard Weinberger who led the swimmers through onto the final lap.
The University of Limerick-based swimmer pushed on for the last 2.5 kilometeres, moving back up the rankings to finish 16th in 1hr 49mins 33secs, up 17 places from the 2011 Championships where Bryan was 33rd.
Bryan travelled straight to Barcelona from the World University Games in Russia where he finished 7th overall last Wednesday.
Speaking after the swim, Bryan said: "I had a bit of bad luck at the finish but it happens. I’m happy with the result, that’s 16th in the world and as hard as it gets.
"But I’m still not satisfied, after a non ideal post-Olympic year we can more than work with this result to get after the positions I really want."
2011 World Champion Spyridon Gianniotis retained the tite in 1:49:11.8.