Aileen Reid returned home to Derry at the weekend with an impressive 8th place finish at the Yokohama leg of the World Triathlon Series in the bag.
The excellent performance moved the Culmore Road triathlete up to 9th overall in the Series after three races.
The opening 1,500m swim was led out by home favourite, Mariko Adachi who exited the water in 19mins 4seconds.
And that quick pace meant many were struggling to hold the feet of the athlete in front and gaps began to appear.
Reid has been to the fore of the swim leg in many of her previous races and it was no different in Yokohama as she exited the water in 7th place, making the lead pack on the bike.
With nine laps consisting of tight and technical turns it was a nervous period as they negotiated the greasy city centre corners.
With about 10km of the 40km ride to go, a group of chasers managed to bridge the gap and there were 16 athletes entering the second’s transition together.
Aileen’s training partner, Jodie Stimpson and Aussie Olympian, Emma Moffatt were the ones pushing the pace during the early stages of the run, however, after trailing early on, race favourite Gwen Jorgensen of the USA started to eat into their advantage.
Over the course of 400m Jorgensen took eight seconds out of the leading duo and when she made the pass Moffatt and Stimpson had no answer.
Jorgensen went on to clock a 32min 44sec 10km run and took her second World Series victory of the season.
Emma Moffatt held of the challenge from British athlete, Jodie Stimpson who had to settle for 3rd.
Reid can be pleased as she bettered her 14th place finish in Yokohama last year along with clocking a 34min 32sec 10km, 30 seconds quicker than her last outing in this race.
The performance is also encouraging as she continues her journey back to full fitness.