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Tough race for Brits in Portugal

10th June 2012

British swimmers David Davies and Daniel Fogg went head to head in a battle to secure the one remaining place on Team GB for the 10km Marathon swim at the Olympic Games in London.

Along with some of the World’s best open water and pool swimmers, the two Brits were aiming for a top nine finish at the FINA Olympic Marathon Swim Qualifier in Sebutal, Portugal, to secure their place on the starting pontoon at the Serpentine.

Both Brits were in the main pack for the first of six laps but by the second, the lead group of 30 or so swimmers broke away to leave both Fogg and Davies out of automatic contention and into a battle for the top British spot.

Turning to start his final lap, Commonwealth bronze medallist Fogg pulled away from Davies taking a 17 second lead over his compatriot. He then extended his lead to 26 seconds before finishing in 35th place in 1.49.38 ahead of Davies who was 38thin 1.50.04.

After the swim Fogg, who trains at the British Gas ITC in Loughborough, said: “That was a tough race. I didn’t really get into my race rhythm and it felt hard throughout from start to finish.

“I couldn’t respond to the pack when they made a break and I am disappointed with the final result.

“There will be different conditions in London, so if I get selected, I will hopefully get in and race better.”

Olympic silver medallist Davies said: “I knew that was going to be hard.  I’m not really a fan of swimming in the sea and at times it felt like the whole sea was against me but I did my best.

“I kept seeing Dan in front of me but he got away. If he gets the spot in London, I’ll be there cheering him on.

“I’ve still got the pool swim at my third Olympics and that will be my focus now.”

Both swimmers will now face a wait for the British Development and Open Water Coach and the National Performance Director to meet to consider a number of factors including the swimmers past performances, rate of progression and medal potential before nominating one of them to the BOA.

Mark Perry, Head of Open Water and Development for British Swimming said: “We always knew it was going to be a challenge to taper for the pool trials in March and then come back here in peak condition to race some of the best swimmers in the world. Today we didn’t get the results that we had hoped for but every open water race is different.

“The conditions in London will be completely different to today’s race and we will now concentrate on the Olympics in order for the swimmer who is selected to be as best prepared as he can be for that event.”

The decision will be announced with the remaining pool places at the British Gas ASA National Championships on June 20th – 23rd at Ponds Forge in Sheffield.

Both swimmers will compete for Team GB at the London Olympics in the 1500m pool event on Friday 3rd August with the Olympic 10km Marathon Swim held on 10th August at Serpentine.

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