Cape Town - Despite just missing out on a top 10 finish in both the five and 10km Fina World Championships open water events in Hungary, South Africa's Chad Ho was still happy to be capable of mixing it with the best.
According to the SASCOC website, Ho ended 11th in the 5km and 13th in the 10km.
The three-time Olympian summed up his races,"Going into the 5km I was pretty nervous, as it was the first time I was going into a World Championships as defending champion.
"I managed to get off to a pretty decent start, finding my way up near the front of the pack. The race had been a pretty physical one approaching the half way stage, but I managed to keep my cool and stay near the front and keep an eye out for any possible breakaways.
"Building up to the finish, the pace increased and I found myself in a possible medal position with 400m to go, but was unable to maintain the pace and had the chase pack catch up to me and pushing me back into 11th.
"But while I was gutted not to have defended my title, nor be on the podium I was still happy with my performance, being right up there with the best in the world for the overall period of the race."
Going into the 10km race on the city's Lake Balaton, Durban's Ho took confidence with him.
"I knew I had to be up near the front of the pack leading into the last 1500m," said Ho.
"In order to do that I needed to swim clever and try and reserve as much energy as possible, as I wasn't sure how much I had recovered from swimming the 5km.
"I knew feeding during the race was going to be crucial, but only managed to get one feed in. But I didn't let that stop me.
"I went into the race with a set game plan of trying to swim the first two kilometres as relaxed as possible and then build up to have a fast finish. I managed to stick to the game plan, but was unable to stick with the pace the leaders were swimming.
"I set myself a goal of being in the top 10, but I was just unable to achieve that, by placing 13th."