New Zealand have finished 10th in the open water team's race at the swimming world championships in Barcelona today.
The three-strong team of Kane Radford, Phillip Ryan and Cara Baker recorded a time of 56 minutes, 12 seconds in the 5km race in Vell Harbour won emphatically by Germany in 52:54. The team race consists of two men and one woman, with the time taken as the third person finishes.
The Kiwi trio were in the third pack with Russia and Hungary, achieving a strong result in their first attempt at the team's format.
"Tactics are a key part obviously and it requires excellent team work,'' Swimming New Zealand open water manager Philip Rush said. "For a first time they went extremely good, with Radford pushing hard from the front and doing a lot of the pace-making.
"To finish 10th from 25 countries was pleasing with nations like South Africa, Canada, Japan and China behind us today.
"The open water campaign has been very good. We have just missed out on top-16 placings in individual events but we have definitely improved in a discipline of the sport that has improved both performance and depth of competition.
"This is a pleasing way to complete their campaign and to complete a 10km and two 5km races in the week is testament to their preparation.''
There are no New Zealanders competing in the 25km open water swim at the weekend, which is a lead-in to the pool competition that begins on Monday (NZT).
Results of the 5km open water swim team's event: Germany 52.54, 1; Greece 54:03, 2; Brazil 53:03, 3. Also: New Zealand (Kane Radford, Cara Baker, Phillip Ryan) 56:12, 10.