Welcome news today that Ireland’s Chris Bryan is currently leading the rankings of the 2011 European Open Water Swimming Cup, following a fantastic performance in the second leg of the competition which took place in Antalya (Turkey) on 29 May.
Bryan, who represented Ireland at the 2010 European Championships, won the 5km event in Antayla in a time of 58 minutes 41.04 seconds, just ahead of Israeli Yuval Safra (58:42.80).
The first leg of the European Cup took place in Eilat (Israel) on 7May, where Bryan finished 33rd of 53 competitors in the longer 10k event, with an overall time of 1 hour 53 minutes 1.25 seconds. These results leave Bryan at the top of the European table with 21 points – ahead of Russian Vladimir Dyatchin (20 points) and Safra (18 points). The Cup runs until the end of July, with five legs in total.
Bryan is now on course for selection to the World Swimming & Open Water Championships which take place in Shanghai, China this July, where he would become the first open water swimmer to represent Ireland at this level. Bryan trains full-time at the University of Limerick High Performance Centre under Head Coach Ronald Claes and alongside European Silver Medalist Grainne Murphy, who is also preparing for the World Championships next month.
The closing date for qualification to International competitions has now passed and teams will shortly be announced for the major events this summer, including the World Championships, European Junior Championships and the World University Games.
Meanwhile, Ireland sent a 16 strong squad to the Celtic Tri-Nations in Swansea last weekend. The competition comprised of teams from Ireland, Scotland and Wales and was won this year by Swim Wales.
Several Irish swimmers produced strong performances at the long course meet, including Bethany Carson (Lisburn City SC) who achieved her qualification time for the World University Games.