Ireland’s Chris Bryan, one of three swimming members for their 2013 World Championship squad, had a great tuneup performance at the Portuguese National Championships meet in the international-sized rowing basin in Montemor-o-Velho, in what should be a good preview for the relatively flat course in Barcelona that hosts the open water races at this year’s World Championships.
The water was frigid, leading to a lot of DNF results, especially from a young junior squad that the Brits sent. Temperature readings put the water at 17 or 18 degrees Celsius (about 64 degrees Fahrenheit), which is just above the 16 Celsius minimum temperature (and 5-6 Fahrenheit degrees colder than the US Worlds Trials were this weekend.)
British junior Caleb Hughes made the first break, and by the time the 5km mark rolled around, he had built about a 60 meter lead – a long ways on any course. Over the next kilometer, though, the Irishman would real him back in, and Bryan would lead from 6 kilometers onward. Eventually, Bryan would win by 1 minute and 35 seconds over runner-up Arseniy Lavrentyev from Portugal, who domestically was the National Champion. Lavrentyev was the Portuguese representative at the Olympics, finishing 19th overall.
This meet, in addition to being a top-level race, was also the backup selection trials for Great Britain. Their top three ranked swimmers of each gender in the Olympic distance races (women’s 800, men’s 1500) were sent to the meet with a chance at qualifying for Worlds to join Daniel Fogg and Keri-Anne Payne, who were prequalified based on top 14 finishes at the Olympics.
That spot went to Danielle Haskisson in the women’s race, who was second overall though more than five minutes behind women’s winner Angelica Andre of Portugal.
In the men’s race, Jack Burnell became the second British representative by way of his 4th-place overall finish. The second-placing Brit was former LSU Tiger Craig Hamilton.
Women’s race results available here.
Men’s race results available here.