Ireland’s Chris Bryan has today finished 16th overall at the LEN European Open Water Championships in Berlin, Germany.
Racing in a field of 39 swimmers Bryan put in an impressive performance in an exciting race where the result could have gone any way.
Swimmers racing in the 10km completed four 2.5km circuits at the ‘Regattastrecke Grünau’ with Bryan positioned well throughout.
He came through the first circuit in 23rd place, just 19 seconds behind the leader, Hungarian Gergely Gyurta.
Gyurta led again for the next circuit with Bryan moving up to 16th at the halfway mark in 55 minutes and 50 seconds, the gap between him and the Hungarian down to 12 seconds.
At 7.5km the Clare man had moved to 17th, but remained with the leading group and just 14 seconds behind France’s Axel Reymond who had taken the lead.
At the 9km mark a group of 19 swimmers, which included Bryan, broke away and battled for the last 1,000m for a place on the podium.
It was Dutchman Ferry Weertman who won out in the end completing the 10km in 1 hour 49 minutes and 56 seconds, Bryan was just 17 seconds behind in 1:50.13.
London 2012 silver medallist and home favourite Thomas Lurz (1:49.59) claimed silver with Russia’s Evgenii Drattcev third in 1:50.00.
Speaking after the race, Bryan commented: “I think what we are saying here is that the performance was a lot better than the result, I knew it was going to be a very tough field with a lot of depth, Europe is the strongest open water continent by far and it’s three swimmers per nation here but two at World Championships and Olympics.
"It was a tough race, it went exactly according to plan, but the problem with open water is you can swim your best on the day and hope it goes your way, it did a few times today, but in the end a few things didn’t go my way. I’m happy with the result, but definitely not satisfied. I learn from every race I compete in and this is a good step forward towards Rio”.
Bryan now looks forward to the gruelling 25km open water event on Sunday at 0800 (Irish time).