Chris Bryan began his World Championship preparations with intent as he was the first man home in the Portugal Open Water Nationals this afternoon.

As a qualifier for the home nation and for British Open Water Swimmers, a strong field of 43 swimmers started the race.

Bryan started well, keeping with the leaders throughout and, with just over three kilometres to go, he took a commanding lead which he never gave up.

The Ennis man, who trains at Swim Ireland’s Performance Centre in Limerick, finished in a time of 2:02.15 - over 90 seconds ahead of his closest competitor Portugal’s Arseniy Lavrentyev (2:03:50).

Jack Burnell was the best of the British, finishing third overall in 2:04:36.

Of the 43 swimmers only 23 completed the race in tough conditions.

Next up for 22-year-old Bryan is a test event at the World Championships site in Barcelona in June, before he travels to Kazan for the World University Games and then Barcelona again for the World Swimming Championships - both in July.