DAVIES AND HACKETT SET FOR JAPANESE SHOWDOWN

20 Aug 2007

Olympic, World and Commonwealth Games swimming medallist David Davies will be looking to write another chapter in the ongoing Chronicles of Hackett/Davies when they both take to the water at the Japan Open Meet this week (August 21-24).

The four-day event in Chiba comes just under a year before the curtain rises on the Beijing Olympic Games - and is set to offer the British contingent a dress rehearsal into how to compete against the oppressive far eastern climate.

David Davies

And - billed as the biggest international event of the summer calendar - British Swimming’s Performance Director, Bill Sweetenham is expecting standards to be high.

"It's their last meet and I'm sure the guys will be looking to go out on a high and show their intentions 12 months out from an Olympics," he said.

Barry’s David Davies is one of the 21-strong squad who will be hoping to set out his stall as Team GB enters headlong into the Olympic straight.

The 22-year-old will be looking to end the long course season on a high following his bronze medal winning swim at the 2007 World Swimming Championships in Melbourne earlier this year.

There, he lined up on the blocks of the 1500m Freestyle final against Olympic and defending World Champion Hackett from Australia as well as Olympic silver medallist Larsen Jensen from the USA - but the danger came from other quarters.

Gold went to European Junior Champion Mateusz Sawrymowicz of Poland, who led the race from the first third, in a time of 14:45.94 while Russia’s Yury Prilukov took the silver in 14:47.29 and Davies the bronze in 14:51.21.

And the Welshman will certainly be looking to up the ante when he takes to the water in the same event on Friday (24th August).

"The main thing I wanted to do this year was to put in a good, solid block of training ahead of the Olympics next year. The next few months will be crucial.

"We saw at the World Championships just how much depth there is in the 1500m at the moment and there are more swimmers coming through who want to make their name in the event. This meet will give everyone – me included - the chance to put their marker down for Beijing and will give us all a good indication of what to expect from one another in twelve months time."