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The start of something extraordinary

Ryan Back in the Mix at Queensland State Champs

State AquaBlack Phillip Ryan has continued his open water swimming success at the Queensland Open Water Championships. The event was held at Lake Kawana, just north of Brisbane, on Saturday 26th October with four New Zealand swimmers competing.

Ryan was the top Kiwi performer finishing second in the open 10km with a time of 1 hr 57 mins 12 secs. The Auckland swimmer was out-sprinted at the end of the race to miss the win by just four seconds.

He also finished third in the open 5km race where swimmers who nominated to swim both the 5km and 10km races had to hit the gate at the 5km mark to post their 5km finishing time, otherwise no result was recorded. Many swimmers only swam the 5km event and did not swim on to complete a 10km race.

Ryan was happy with his first competitive performance following the Barcelona World Championships in July where his best placing was 18th in the 25km event.

“I am happy with my performance as it was the first 10km of the season, though winning it would have been better. It was a good indication to see where I was at with pushing the first 5km relativity hard,” said Ryan.

The 23 year old continues to learn and build from his World Championship experience earlier in the year, with the 2016 Rio Olympics at the forefront of his mind. 

“The World Champs was a big step up from anything I had done before and I learnt that there is stuff I need to improve to get up with the top guys. It was a really big learning curve which will help me in the long run.”

His next big focus is the Pan Pacific Championships next year which he will need to qualify for at the qualifying event in Perth on the 1st of February 2014. His coach Judith Wright is happy with her young charges progress.

“It was a good opportunity to see how the fitness levels are. His fitness is good but we need more speed at the end of the race, so we will be doing more end of race speed sets each week before the next competition which is the NSW Championships 13-14 December in Sydney, followed by the New Zealand Champs 11-12 January in Taupo,” said Wright.

World Junior Championship representative Michael Mincham also competed in the 5km race, finishing first in his 17-18 year age group and sixth overall with a time of 58 mins 01 secs. The next big competition for him is the Queensland State pool championships in Brisbane in December.

Other Kiwi swimmers who competed in the event included 13 year old Sebastien Priscott who finished seventh in the 13 & under 5km race, and 14 year old Jackson Dawson who placed 30th in the 10km event.