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Page last updated at 18:04 GMT, Saturday, 22 March 2008

Davies wins European silver medal

David Davies
Davies beat world champ Mateusz Sawrymowicz into third place

David Davies' boosted his Olympic hopes by winning silver at the European Swimming Championships in Eindhoven.

Russian Yury Prilukov won the 1500m freestyle gold in a championship record of 14 minutes 50.40 seconds, beating Welshman Davies by four seconds.

But Kirsty Balfour failed to defend her 200m breaststroke title.

The Scot, who has already been selected for the Olympics after coming second at the 2007 World Championships, has yet to peak this year and finished fifth.

She came home in two minutes 28.06 seconds, some four seconds behind race winner Yulia Efimova of Russia.

Commonwealth champion Davies started quickly and built up a lead over the rest of the field in his final.

However, Prilukov overhauled him and powered his way to victory, although Davies had the consolation of beating world champion Mateusz Sawrymowicz into bronze medal position by four seconds.

Olympic bronze-medallist Davies told BBC Sport: "I'm extremely pleased because it shows that my hard work in the build-up to the Olympics in Beijing is paying off.

"I've done thousands of kilometres in training but you can't judge what kind of shape you're in until a competitive meet.

"The European Championships boasted a world-class field so to finish second is good and it's always nice to take the scalp of Sawrymowicz because he is a quality athlete.

"But I didn't want to hit my peak now, I want to be in condition of my life in Beijing because it is my dream to win an Olympic gold - that is my sole aim."

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

see also
GB women break record for silver
21 Mar 08 |  Swimming
Tancock misses out on Euro final
19 Mar 08 |  Swimming
Davies in tough Olympic warm-up
19 Mar 08 |  Swimming
GB swimming trio chosen for Games
27 Feb 08 |  Olympics
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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