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24 Aug 2007

Welsh swimming star David Davies had to settle for sixth position in a 1500m freestyle final teeming with the event's heavyweights at the Japan Open Meet yesterday.

The British distance Freestyler was unable to stay with the Men's 1500m field despite leading the field up to the 400m mark.


With a limited preparation, the Olympic and World medallist struggled to stay in touch with the likes of Grant Hackett (Australia) Mateusz Sawrymowicz (Poland) and Tae Hwan Park (Korea) and fell back as laps fell away.

Davies finished in sixth place in 15:06.01 with Hackett taking gold in 14:48.70, silver going to Sawrymowicz in 14:50.73 and Park taking bronze in 14:58.43.

"To be honest that's as much as I could have hoped for. My preparation has been disjointed and due to various reasons I simply haven't been able to put in the amount of work I would have liked," said Davies.

"I need a better background of work behind me to be up with what was a really world best field. Grant showed his undoubted class again tonight and, as double Olympic Champion, he'll be the man to beat in Beijing next year.

"I have every faith in what I'm going to do between now and the Olympics and I'm aware of the amount of hard work it's going to take to get there but I'm dedicated, focused and looking forward to showing what I'm capable of.

"I've looked at the next 12 months and I have planned the best preparation possible ahead of Beijing. If anything tonight has motivated me even more, it's a kick up the backside but I'll put it to good use to ensure I'm ready next year."JEMMA LOWE

Davies' Welsh stablemate, Jemma Lowe missed out on the medals but in her first senior international the teenage swimmer set a new British Record as she finished fifth in the Women's 100m Butterfly in a time of 58.71.

"That was the type of controlled swim I have been looking for this week," said Lowe, whose father hails from Cardiff. "I went out steady but came back strong and to get the British Record is wonderful.

"I've been in competition mode now for a month and I wasn't sure where this had left me fitness wise but I was able to draw on something tonight despite racing in a field with the likes of Lenton and Schipper for the first time in my career."