Top 10 Finish for Bryan is Gruelling 25K Open Water Event

Ireland’s Chris Bryan Finishes 9th at European Championships

Press Release

17th August 2014

Ireland’s Chris Bryan has today finished 9th in the 25 Kilometre Open Water Event at the LEN European Championships in Berlin, Germany just days after competing in the 10K Event.

Normally a 10K specialist, Bryan opted to swim the gruelling 25K event for the first time at these championships and finished after 5 hours 12 minutes and 40 seconds just under 4 minutes off the Bronze medal which he had been in contention for right up to the last lap of the 2.5K circuit.

The group of 18 competitors stayed together for the first half of the race until Frenchman Axel Reymond, who was a Bronze medallist in the event in 2012 and Russia’s Evgeny Drattsev opened up a 30 second lead just before 12.5K.

The duo extended their lead with every lap, coming in to 22.5K with 8 minutes on the rest of the field. With Reymond and Drattsev assured of the top two places it was down to 10 swimmers in a group behind them to fight for Bronze with Bryan amongst them.

The Clare man who trains at Swim Ireland’s Performance Centre at UL Sport in Limerick battled hard but faded in the last 2 kilometres to finish in a credible 9th place in his first major 25K Open Water race.

Speaking after the race Bryan commented “The race was hard and it was very different to the 10K. It was my first 25K in a major championship and it really is a different kettle of fish, I learned a lot and it was a really good experience. Of course it would have been nicer to do a bit better but it is all good experience coming into Rio.

For me it’s all looking towards Rio, as much as qualification will be tough, I think where I am now is looking good to be able to qualify for the Games(in 2016) at World Championships next year and really push on from there.”

Reymond was crowned European Champion after 4 hours 59 minutes and 18 seconds of racing with Drattsev just behind in 4:59.31. Bronze went to Italy’s Edoardo Stochino in 5:08.51.

Tomorrow will see attention in Berlin switch to the pool with four Irish swimmers in action on the first day of competition. Barry Murphy, Nicholas Quinn and Dan Sweeney will all swim the 100m Breaststroke heats while Brendan Hyland swims the 50m Butterfly heats.

The swimming events started at the World Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China today with Laoise Fleming and Dearbhail McNamara in action.

Laoise won her heat of the 100m Backstroke in 1:06.21 to place 30th overall while Dearbhail McNamara was 27th in the 50m Breaststroke in 35.17.

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