JAZZ Carlin admits she still needs to come to terms with the competition levels of open water swimming after finishing 14th in the women's 10km event at the European Championships in Scotland today.

Swindon's Carlin, who now lives in Bradford on Avon, made her major championship bow outdoors at Loch Lomond as she takes her career in a new direction after winning two silver medals in the pool at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

The 27-year-old finished down the field as Dutchwoman Sharon van Rouwendaal claimed gold, following up her victory in the 5km race earlier in the week.

Italy’s Giulia Gabrielleschi claimed silver, with another Dutch swimmer, Esmee Vermuelen taking bronze.

Carlin’s season has been hampered by illness after it was revealed she was suffering from pneumonia earlier this year, which denied her the chance to end her career in the pool on the podium at April’s Commonwealth Games.

But the Wiltshire woman admitted it was the challenge of tackling a new discipline at the top level that had proved the biggest hurdle.

"It's my first major international and didn't know what comes with it really but I made a few dodgy decisions and it didn't really pay off,'' she told the BBC.

"I guess it's about learning really and working out what works best for me.

"I think it was on the second of third lap I had a little tear to myself because I got hit around the nose but it is one of the things you have got to get use to, it's part of the sport. everyone gets hit and everyone gets whacked and it's something you have got to accept really.

"I guess it did surprise me how physical it is and I've just got to toughen myself out a bit I guess.''

Carlin now plans to assess her progress outdoors as she ponders how to proceed, with the Tokyo Olympic Games in two years' time on the horizon.

"I'm loving the training, the competition hasn't quite come together yet but I'm hoping that will come together in time,'' she added.

"I love swimming outdoors and I love the racing in a pack and stuff so that will all come in time when I get a bit more experience.

"I'll be sitting down with my coach. Obviously this is only my fourth 10k and my first proper competitive one and it is all about learning, getting the experience and taking it back to the drawing board and seeing which works best for me.'