British Swimmer David Davies has withdrawn from this summer’s World Championships in Shanghai with chronic fatigue in a story widely reported around the UK yesterday.
At the 2008 Olympics, Davies took a silver in the open-water 10km swim, and before that in 2004 he took bronze in the men’s 1500 free in the pool.
No fewer than 17-times in his career Davies has gone under 15-minutes in the metric mile, but two years of battling with these fatigue problems has left him well away from that threshold since 2009. He showed some signs of life at the British World Championship Trials, where he went a 15:06 that puts him at 8th in the world this year. But now, on medical advice, it has been recommended that he take a 6-week break from training to try and regain his energy.
In discussions with British National Team head coach Dennis Pursley, it was decided that Davies would be better off taking his break now and skipping the World Championships, where it seems unlikely that he would have much success, rather than wait and risk interfering with his training for the 2012 London Olympics.
Davies will still play an important role in British swimming during his break as he will travel with the Youth Squad to the European Junior Championships in Belgrade, Serbia beginning on July 6th. He will serve as a mentor for some of the UK’s brightest young swimmers.
Davies’ withdrawl opens up a spot for another swimmer to earn an entry in the 1500 (and likely the non-Olympic 800) in tomorrow’s timed-final at the Britsh Gas ASA National Championships. The winner of that race, if he clears the FINA A-standard of 15:13.16, will qualify for the second spot in Shanghai along with Daniel Fogg. The leading candidate for that spot is teenager Thomas Allen, who was 3rd at the trials in March.