Olympic bronze medallist David Davies safely negotiated his way into Saturday's 1,500 metres freestyle final as he started what he hopes will be a two-pronged bid at the Olympics.
The 27-year-old was fastest through in 15 minutes 19.80 seconds ahead of Daniel Fogg and Lewis Smith. The Cardiff swimmer was clearly relieved to have put behind him all the fatigue problems that have dogged him since 2009 and which forced him to pull out of last year's World Championships in Shanghai and take some time out of the water.
Davies said: "It's fantastic being in a lot better position than I have been in the past few years. It's nice coming into a meet doing the work I wanted to do, I feel good in the water."
He continued: "I've done a lot of good stuff, the break I had last year was the best thing for me, I've managed to do a full taper this time which is the first I've managed to do in two and a half, three years."
Saturday's race will determine who, along with Fogg, will be competing in the final stage of open water qualification in Portugal in June. But Davies is not looking past the final, saying: "Since the summer my focus has been on tomorrow (Saturday) night. After that I guess things will be more clear in what I have to do."
Fran Halsall returned to the pool little more than 13 hours after claiming the 100m freestyle title to qualify fastest in the one-length sprint. The 21-year-old who was a surprise fourth in Shanghai last year clocked 24.95 with Amy Smith, runner-up on Thursday night, second again on Friday morning.
The Loughborough ITC swimmer was satisfied with her efforts, especially considering she had not managed to sleep until 1am following her exploits. She said: "It was all emotions, I was all happy and it takes forever to go to sleep. I was just like I need to relax so I can be ready for to swim fast.
Halsall's time equalled her time at the British University Championships last month, which is the third fastest in the world. However, given Britain are the only country to have held their trials so far this year, world rankings have limited significance. Halsall pays little attention to such statistics.
She said: "I don't think about it because they are not giving out medals - all that matters is what I do on July 29 in the 100 butterfly final and then again in the 100 free. Until then people can do whatever they want and it just matters that one day that is all I am thinking about, just making sure I get it right on that day. Everything else is just a practice."
In the multi-disability events, Amberley Hoar (S14) headed the 100m breaststroke heats in 1:24.28 with Sascha Kindred (S7) leading the men's equivalent in 1:26.37.
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