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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 March 2008, 12:46 GMT
Davies in tough Olympic warm-up
David Davies
Davies has already been selected as part of Team GB's squad
David Davies will go head-to-head with two Olympic rivals at the European Championships on the road to Beijing.

The Welsh swim star will battle it out with world champion Mateusz Sawrymowicz and world runner-up Yury Prilukov in the 1500m freestyle in Eindhoven.

Olympic and world bronze-medallist Davies said: "It's a great chance for me to race against a very strong field.

"To swim against top opposition at this stage of an Olympic year is invaluable as I can measure where I am."

Davies has already qualified for the 1,500m freestyle event for this summer's Beijing Olympics as the Commonwealth champion looks to better the bronze medal he won at the 2004 Athens Games.

Davies is also seeking qualification for the maiden Olympic 10k open water discipline in the wake of his victory at the South Africa National Open Water Championships last month.

This week's strong Eindhoven field is the most challenging event on the European programme for years as last year's World Championships medallists face each other again.

"After that I'll know what we'll need to focus on as we move towards Beijing," said Davies, whose European 1,500m heats will begin on Friday before Saturday's final.

Triple Olympic champion and world record-holder Grant Hackett is the man to beat in Beijing.

The awesome Aussie's defeat in last year's World Championship in Melbourne was his first in ten years but Davies knows Hackett will want to make amends.

So Pole Sawrymowicz, Russian Prilukov and 23-year-old Davies are preparing hard as they bid for Olympic glory.

"My preparations have gone well," said Cardiff swimmer Davies.

"But it's a busy few weeks ahead with the Europeans, the British Championships where I'll be swimming the 400m Freestyle and then the 10km at the World Open Water Championships in Seville."

David Davies is among the British athletes who BBC Sport will be following during the countdown to the Beijing Olympics.

European Swimming Ch'ships day two
19 Mar 08 |  Swimming
GB swimmers prepare for Eindhoven
07 Mar 08 |  Swimming
GB swimming trio chosen for Games
27 Feb 08 |  Olympics & Olympic sport
Davies success in open water test
02 Feb 08 |  Swimming
Davies takes World 1500m bronze
01 Apr 07 |  Swimming
Hackett's 2008 warning to Davies
15 May 06 |  Swimming
Wales' Davies claims gold in pool
21 Mar 06 |  Commonwealth Games
Davies earns 1500m bronze
21 Aug 04 |  Swimming
Swimming calendar
17 Oct 00 |  Swimming


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