Aileen Reid claimed an impressive eighth place at the Yokohama leg of the World Triathlon Series, moving herself up to ninth overall in the Series after three races.
The opening 1,500m swim was led out by home favourite Mariko Adachi, who exited the water in 19mins 4seconds.
The quick pace meant many were struggling to hold the feet of the athlete in front and gaps began to appear.
Reid has been to the fore of the swim leg in many of her previous races and today was no different as she exited the water in seventh place, making the lead pack on the bike.
With nine laps consisting of tight and technical turns it was a nervous time as they negotiated the greasy city-centre corners.
With about 10km of the 40km ride to go a group of chasers managed to bridge the gap and there were 16 athletes entering the second’s transition together.
Reid’s training mate, Jodie Stimpson, and Aussie Olympian Emma Moffatt were the ones pushing the pace during the early stages of the run, however, after trailing early on, race favourite Gwen Jorgensen of the USA started to eat into their advantage.
Over the course of 400m Jorgensen took eight seconds out of the leading duo and when she made the pass, Moffatt and Stimpson had no answer.
Jorgensen went on to clock a 32min 44sec 10km run and took her second World Series victory of the season. Emma Moffatt held of the challenge from British athlete Jodie Stimpson who had to settle for third.
Aileen Reid can be pleased as she bettered her 14th-place finish here last year along with clocking a 34min 32sec 10km, 30 seconds quicker than her last Yokohama outing.
The performance is also encouraging as she continues her journey back to full fitness.
'Bad day at the office' for Keane
In the men’s race Bryan Keane put his 27th place finish down to “a bad day at the office.”
The Cork man has been racing hard for the past eight months as he tries to build his ranking after a serious injury put him out of action for almost two years.
“I was flat and empty today. The body is in need of a break so I’m excited to be going home after being away from home for so long,” Commented Keane after the race.
Keane’s troubles started in the swim as a blistering pace was being set up front by the Canadian athlete Andrew McCartney.
McCartney was not hanging around and was keen to use his swimming ability to his advantage and form an early break away.
His tactics worked and he exited the water in 17mins 25secs. Eight men from eight different countries struck with the early pace and were rewarded by being part of a break away on the bike.
Among the breakaway riders was 2012 World Champion Jonny Brownlee and the group worked well to hold and then extent their lead.
Exiting the second transition and it was pre-race favourites Brownlee, Gomez and Silva in the mix; however, Jonny Brownlee, despite an ankle injury earlier in the year, was stretching the elastic to the athletes behind him.
On the second of four laps he broke away and cruised across the line with a cool 29m21s 10km run. Spain’s Javier Gomez was second, followed by the young Portuguese athlete Joao Silva in third.
After his poor swim Bryan Keane was to far back to be in contention, however still managed to clock a 31m36s 10km run to finish 27th.
The result will likely boost Keane’s world ranking to well inside the top 50 in the world and brings the prospect of a start at the Grand Final in September a little closer.
Keane and Reid will now travel back to Ireland to prepare for their next European races.