CHRIS BRYAN walked away quietly satisfied after the 10km Open Water event at the World Championships in Shanghai and looking forward to the 5km competition tomorrow.
Bryan, the first Irish swimmer to compete at this level, finished 33rd overall and, while he may have finished outside the qualification mark for London 2012, he believes that two qualifying events next year will give him a real chance of making it to the Olympics.
"I feel that I am getting better and better. Most of the guys in this sport don't peak until they are a lot older than me," said the 21-year-old Clare man.
Bryan, based at Swim Ireland's High Performance unit in Limerick under Ronald Claes, finished in a time of 1.56:52.8, just under two and a half minutes behind the winner, Spyros Gianniotis of Greece, who clocked 1.54:24.7.
National high performance director Peter Banks said: "It is a fantastic result for Chris, who is the first Irish swimmer to compete in Open Water competition at this level.
"He has made the transition from pool very well and is performing strongly in a highly competitive environment."