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Page last updated at 05:57 GMT, Thursday, 21 August 2008 06:57 UK

Davies completes Welsh medal haul

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Video - Davies takes open water swimming silver

Swimmer David Davies has added to Wales' best Olympics medal tally for 88 years by winning silver in the 10km open-water swim.

Davies, 23, led for most of the race only be overhauled by Dutchman Maarten van der Weijden, who finished 1.5 seconds ahead in one hour 59.6 seconds. "It's going to take a while for it to sink in, but it's a proud moment for me," said the Welshman.

"I like swimming from the front, but the final section was a blur."

Davies took an early lead, but could not hold on against the Dutchman's late challenge.

The Welshman's was Britain's third open-water medal after Keri Anne-Payne and Cassie Patten won silver and bronze respectively in the women's race.

Davies' efforts ensured Wales had another Olympic hero to toast amid the Great Britain Beijing gold-rush sparked by cyclist Nicole Cooke.

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Video - GB team pursuit power to gold

Another cyclist, 21-year-old Geraint Thomas won Wales's third gold as he helped GB's Team Pursuit stars smash their own world record to beat Denmark in their final.

That meant Thomas following Cooke and rower Tom James into Olympic immortality in Beijing.

Tom Lucy won silver in the eight-man rowing boat to ensure Beijing was Wales' best Olympics since the 1920 Antwerp Games.

Thomas and pursuit team-mates Bradley Wiggins, Ed Clancy and Paul Manning clocked an incredible three minutes 55.314 seconds to create their third world record this year.

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Video - Britain strike gold in coxless four

"It was an awesome achievement by an awesome team," said Cardiff rider Thomas.

"It's a special day for me, it's great!"

The Olympic showpiece was a repeat of the World Championship final earlier this year where Team GB secured back-to-back world titles.

Thomas and his team broke the Team Pursuit world record at the Worlds in Manchester before lowering that time again in Sunday's semi-final.

It was a Welsh cyclist that kick-started Britain's gold rush when Nicole Cooke completed her road race grand slam on the second day.

James continued Wales' 2008 Olympic medal fest in style as the 24-year-old guided Britain's flagship boat to the coxless four rowing crown.

The Wrexham rowing hero won Wales its first Olympic rowing medal since Hugh Edwards' double gold in the coxless pairs at the 1932 Los Angeles Games.

Lucy's first Olympics had a sliver lining as the Monmouth rookie's eight-man crew finished second behind Canada in Sunday's final - as Wales played a key role in Britain's greatest weekend in Olympic history.

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Video - GB held to rowing silver by Canada

The 2008 Games is already Welsh sport's best since they won four golds at the 1920 Olympics - still Wales' most impressive gold medal haul.

"This is Wales' best Olympics," hailed James. "And I'm proud to be a part of it."

Davies failed to better his 1500m freestyle swimming bronze from Athens 2004 in Sunday's final but the Commonwealth champion was among the medal favourites for the inaugural Olympics 10k Open Water event.

"I'm really proud of Wales' achievements at this Olympics," said Davies.

"It looks to become an incredibly memorable Games for a proud sporting nation and I want to be a part of that."

Wales won four golds in 1920 as Paulo Radmilovic and Christopher Jones were part of the victorious water polo team while Cecil Griffiths and John Ainsworth-Davies were in the 4x400m team that won gold.

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Video - Cooke wins first GB gold medal




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see also
Britain's golden wonders
17 Aug 08 |  Olympics
Battling Davies wins 10km silver
21 Aug 08 |  Swimming
GB pursuit team set world record
17 Aug 08 |  Cycling
Lucy wins Olympic rowing silver
17 Aug 08 |  Olympics
British four win thrilling gold
16 Aug 08 |  Rowing
Cooke grabs first GB gold medal
10 Aug 08 |  Cycling
Wales' Olympic photo gallery
12 Aug 08 |  Wales
Beijing 2008
14 Feb 08 |  Olympics
BBC Olympics blog
15 Aug 08 |  Olympics
BBC Sport Wales coverage
23 Mar 08 |  Wales


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