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20 August 2008 PR 08/125

Olympic silver for Davies in marathon swim

Loughborough University swimmer David Davies has won silver in the inaugural open water 10km marathon.

The distance swimmer, who won 1500m bronze at the Athens Olympics, touched in 1 hour 51.53 seconds just 1.5 seconds behind winner Maarten van der Weijden of the Netherlands, in only his third 10k open water race.

Davies had led the field for most of the race, surviving numerous attacks for the front position, but drifting off-course on the final sprint, he was overtaken by the Dutchman. Thomas Lurz of Germany was just half a second behind.

Having finished a disappointing sixth in the 1500m pool race last week, Davies was determined to make the grade at the Shunyi lake today.

“I’ve only done three races and am still learning and I have probably been done here for experience,” he said. “I gave it everything and that was what I wanted to do and I have something to show for it.

“I like swimming from the front but that last lap was a real struggle and the final section was a blur. I was delirious but the stretcher at the end was a bit mad. But it’s a proud moment for me.”
 
Davies’ silver is the second medal won by a Loughborough athlete in Beijing. Swimmer Joanne Jackson won bronze in the 400m Freestyle, while British team mate Rebecca Adlington, who trains at the University three times a week, won double gold in the 400m and 800m Freestyle. 

-ENDS-

Notes for editors:

  1. 55 Loughborough students past and present and University-based athletes will represent four nations in eight different sports at the 2008 Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Games. For more information logo onto http://www.lboro.ac.uk/beijing
  2. Loughborough is the UK’s premier university for sport. It has arguably the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

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