18-year-old Alannah Jury from the North Shore produced a remarkable comeback to finish an unlucky 13th in the FINA World Championships 10-kilometre open water swim near Rome.
Jury recovered from last place at the end of the first lap after her goggles were ripped off by another opponent in a rough and physical four-lap race.
Her coach Philip Rush said Jury's performance to finish 13th was outstanding with the time lost in the process of recovering and getting new goggles costing her a top-10 finish.
Jury only took up open water swimming last year and has never swum a competitive international competition until these world championships in Ostia.
Britain's Keri-Anne Payne led virtually from start to finish to take the gold while Germany's Thomas Lurz charged to victory in the men's race.