Davies plans a quick Sheffield exit

By NEIL WILSON

Last updated at 12:34 24 March 2008


David Davies will not seek to add next week's British title to the European silver he won in Eindhoven. He plans to pull out of the championships in Sheffield after competing in one heat.

Davies is one of three

Britons already selected for

the Olympics and he will

fulfil the requirement to

compete in the Sheffield

trials to the letter, entering

only the 400 metres and

pulling out after one race.

David Davies

Priority: David Davies

Davies's second place in the

European 1500 metres was a

remarkable achievement

because he was lying in a

hospital bed the previous

weekend undergoing an

intensive course of

intravenous antibiotics to

cure a foot infection.

The Olympic and world

medallist was given the

all-clear to travel to

Holland only last Monday.

'This time last week I was in

a hospital bed with a foot

the size of a football. To be

honest, I was very worried

about my Olympic year

rather than this meet,' said

the Welshman.

Gold for a fourth time in the

event went to Russian Yury

Prilukov with a new

championship record of

14:50.40, four seconds ahead

of Davies, with Poland's

world champion Mateusz

Sawrymowicz taking the

bronze.

Davies now has another

selection race on his mind

because he wants to win a

place in the new Olympic

event of 10 kilometres in

open water at a qualifying

race in Seville in May. In

Beijing the race comes four

days after his 1500 metres in

the pool.

Neither will be easy events.

The 1500 should be one of

the fastest in history. The

European final suggests

that to even qualify for the

final will require a time

under 15 minutes, a barrier

only broken for the first

time in 1980, while in the

10km he will be against great

Australian Grant Hackett.

Kirsty Balfour lost her

European 200 metres

breaststroke title — won

two years ago — a few

minutes after Davies' swim.

She finished fifth but has

been more concerned

about winning a second

Olympic place at 100 metres

breaststroke at the British

championships in Sheffield.

'I felt tired out there. My

preparations aren't geared

to racing fast this week,' she

said. 'It's a shame to lose

the European crown but

this year is all about the

Olympics. That's when I

want to be in the best shape

of my life.'

Sophie Edington set a world

record for the non-Olympic

event of 50 metres

backstroke at the Australian

championships, beating

another set 24 hours earlier

by Emily Seebohm.

Frenchman Alain Bernard,

who set world records in

the semi-final and final of

the 100 metres freestyle, set

his third world record in

three days last night when

he beat the 50 metres

freestyle with a time of

21.50sec in the semifinals.

The record was one of 11

that have been broken

already this year.

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