CHRIS Bryan came up with the performance of his life to finish eighth in the 5km Open Water event at the World Championships in Shanghai yesterday, giving the Irish team an ideal morale boost ahead of the indoor events which start tomorrow in the Shanghai Oriental Sports Centre.
Clare man Bryan, who clocked 56:28, finished just 11 seconds behind gold medal winner Thomas Lurz of Germany.
"The last 400 metres of the race was rough -- everyone was on top of each other, there was a lot of fighting and kicking. I got an elbow in the head, but stayed calm and really gave it my all to the finish," said Bryan (21).
"I managed to stay within the top 15 swimmers for most of the race, then towards the end, myself and the French swimmer broke away and took a different route than the pack.
"When I rejoined the pack I was in about eighth and just stayed calm and pushed hard with 15 minutes to go."
Although the 5km is not an Olympic event, the quality of his performance augurs well for his bid to make London 2012 in the 10km.
Tomorrow, Barry Murphy will take to the water hoping to at least make the semis of the 100m breaststroke.
Meanwhile, Andrew Bree scooped his second gold at the Irish Open Championships in the National Aquatic Centre last night when he was the first Irishman home in the 100m breaststroke.
Bree, competing at the NAC after missing out on qualification for the World Championships, clocked 1:03.19, behind gold medal winner Christopher Steeples of England (1:02.68).
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