14 Jul 2006

David Davies shows off his gold medal at the Commonwealth GamesCommonwealth gold medal winning swimmer David Davies has today revealed his disappointment at the prospect of missing out on the opportunity to clinch a podium position at the European Championships later this month.

The 21-year-old Barry star - who sensationally swam to 1500m freestyle golden glory and 400m freestyle bronze at the Melbourne 2006 Games - faced a frustrating period poolside following routine surgery on an infected foot in May. And the recovery process has taken longer than expected.

Davies had been included in the 64-strong Great Britain squad set to contest for medals in Hungary but will now be forced to be an armchair spectator when the event kicks off on the 26th of July.

"I wanted to leave it until the very last minute before I came to the decision to withdraw from the Championships. I have just had too much time out of the water and I’m a long way off full race fitness.

"The European Championships is one of the biggest meets of the swimming calendar behind the Olympic Games and the World Championships, and the standard of competition is second to none - so you need to be at your very best.

"It’s the only major meet that I’ve yet to medal in because it clashed with the Athens Olympics in 2004 and I’m so disappointed that I won’t be there again this year.

"It’s so hard to watch your competition from the sidelines but I have been back in the water for a while and have had no problems with my foot since the surgery.

"I’m now building towards next season and the World Championship qualifiers in December and I’m totally focused on coming back stronger and fitter later this year."

The 1500m freestyle was expected to be one of the highlights of the Championships with Davies set to take on the highly rated Russian number one Yuri Prilukov who was edged into fourth place by the Welshman at the Athens Olympics.

Davies is this weekend set to pass on some top tips to BBC Radio 1 Breakfast Show star and fellow countryman Aled Jones as he attempts to swim a mile for Sport Relief in Manchester.

For further information, please contact Lynette Evans at the Sports Council for Wales on /
Or Layla Smith at Nuff Respect on /