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Last Updated: Saturday, 2 February 2008, 20:03 GMT
Davies success in open water test
David Davies
Davies is one of Wales' best medal hopes at Beijing
Distance swimmer David Davies has conquered a gruelling open water challenge in Cape Town, winning his first event outside pool conditions.

The 1500m pool event will be Welshman Davies' main focus at this summer's Beijing Games but he might enter the inaugural Olympic 10km open water swim.

That will depend partly on his performance at Seville in May.

"Should I make the grade the possibility of competing in the 10km (at Beijing) will be high," he said.

The Commonwealth 1500m champion was one of eight British swimmers to race at the South Africa National Open Water Championships at the Ashanti Dam.

University of Bath's Alan Bircher took silver behind Davies with a strong performance and will join Davies in Seville for the World Open Water Championships.

Davies took the win at 1:53:58.00 with Bircher touching home in 1:55:06.00.

"My rhythm was good through the race," said Davies who said his tactic had been to go out hard and try to establish an early lead.

"I felt good in the final lap and to cross the finish line when I had managed to pull away from the pack earlier in the race was a great feeling."

A top ten finish in Seville would qualify Davies and Bircher for the 10km event in Bejing.

Davies is among the favourites to take 1500m freestyle gold at Beijing this August as the 22-year-old from Barry hopes to better the bronze he won at the Athens Olympics in 2004.

606: DEBATE

In the women's event in Cape Town, Keri-Anne Payne took the gold medal, finishing in 2:05:43.00 with Stockport Metro team-mate Cassie Patten coming third with a time of 2:05:51.00.

The two women will also now go on to compete in Spain.

Head Coach Sean Kelly said he was extremely impressed with the performances.

"Britain's strength in open water swimming is growing and results are extremely promising," Kelly added.



SEE ALSO
Davies moves to aid Olympic goal
26 Sep 07 |  Swimming
Davies announces retirement plan
14 Nov 07 |  Swimming
Davies takes World 1500m bronze
01 Apr 07 |  Swimming
Wales' Davies claims gold in pool
21 Mar 06 |  Commonwealth Games
Davies earns 1500m bronze
21 Aug 04 |  Swimming
Team GB for Beijing
28 Jan 08 |  Team GB
Swimming on the BBC
02 Oct 07 |  Swimming


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