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Last Updated:  Wednesday, 19 March, 2003, 11:48 GMT
Goodhew hails Davies
David Davies at the newly opened Wales National Pool in Swansea
Davies is an Olympic gold medal prospect according to Goodhew
Olympic gold medallist Duncan Goodhew has predicted a golden future for swimming sensation David Davies.

The Welsh teenager burst onto the international swimming scene last December by winning silver in the 1,500m freestyle at the European Short Course Championships in Germany.

In doing so, Davies slashed 12.09 seconds off his previous best and was only 5.23secs shy of Olympic bronze medallist Graeme Smith's British record.

Already described as "an outstanding talent" by UK swimming's performance director Bill Sweetenham, the 18-year-old has now won a lavish praise from one of Britain's most successful swimmers.

Goodhew told BBC Sport: "David is really very promising. The sport has really taken to him.

"He's got a great coach - my old coach David Haller - so he's in very good hands.

"The question now is can he psychologically get the grit needed to win. It's a process you have to go through.

"David Haller is very good at drawing those kind of things out of people."

Davies will be in Sheffield this week competing in the British Long Course Championships.

An impressive performance should guarantee his selection for the British team for July's World Championships in Barcelona and the European Junior Championships.

He left two of Britain's senior swimmers in his wake to win the British short course title and become only the sixth British swimmer to break the 15 minute barrier.

Duncan Goodhew
Goodhew says Davies has benfited from increased funding in swimming
But Davies believes Adam Faulkner and world silver medallist Graeme Smith will be vying for revenge in Sheffield.

"I think there'll be a bit of a backlash from last time," admitted Davies.

"The other guys didn't perform to their best, but they'll be up for it this week. It's going to be tough."

But Goodhew is confident Davies has the talent to sweep all before him in Sheffield.

"I think he's going to be in the money there," said the 1980 Olympic 100m breaststroke champion.

"His main focus will be getting through on the team. We hope he'll soon blaze a trail in the sport and start to win gold medals at Olympic Games.

"That has been our problem. We're breaking records, especially in short course, but we haven't stepped up to the plate on the gold medal stakes.

"Hopefully Davies and a new breed of swimmers can do it."

The British Long Course Championships take place at Ponds Forge, Sheffield between 19 and 23 March and is live on Sunday Grandstand, BBC Two.




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