Davies swam as fast as she has ever managed before in the 50m backstroke medal showdown in Barcelona, stopping the clock at 27.96seconds to equal her personal best set in 2011.
Unfortunately for Davies it was only good enough for sixth place with China's Zhao Jing claiming gold in 27.29 ahead of compatriot Fu Yuanhui and Japan's Aya Terakawa.
There was a silver lining though with Davies' time fast enough to earn pre-selection for Wales for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games next summer.
And she admitted her disappointing performance in the 100m backstroke, where she fell in the heats on Monday, was a motivating factor.
"I'm pleased because I started out terribly and I was disappointed," she said. "It seems to always be the way with me.
"I just have to have a little bit of a disappointment and then that spurs me on just to build and to try and improve throughout the week.
"I got quicker each round and I would have liked to have got a personal best and maybe sneaked that British record as well as it is so close to my personal best.
"But that is a goal for the future. The time I set there will get me pre-selection for the Commonwealths and that takes a bit of the pressure off.
"I can just focus on all my training and getting it right at the Games."
London 2012 Olympian Davies was joined in the 50m backstroke final by fellow Brit Lauren Quigley who finished eighth in a time of 28.33.
"Obviously I'm happy with making the final, but I'm not happy with the time because I went 28.02 in the semi," said Quigley, who still has the 200m backstroke to come.
"But I just did the same as I always do in the build-up. I'm looking forward to the 200m, hopefully I'm going to get back in there and get a quick time."
Elsewhere, London 2012 silver medallist Michael Jamieson and Andrew Willis both secured their places in the final of the 200m breaststroke.
Jamieson, who claimed Olympic silver in the 200m breaststroke last summer, clocked 2:09.62minutes while Willis touched home in a quicker time of 2:09.11.
And Jamieson insists there is still plenty of work to do, citing his time of 2:07.78 set on the way to victory at the British trials in June as a target for the final.
"I eased off a little bit towards the end, that was the plan, but for the final I'll need to find something else because 2:09 is not going to cut it for medals," said Jamieson.
"I think the time I posted at the trials will be enough for a medal, definitely."
Another Briton looking to impress in Spain will be debutant Craig McNally after he made it into the 200m backstroke final, stopping the clock in his semi-final at 1:56.97.
However Chris Walker-Hebborn's hopes of joining him in that race were ended after he faded in his semi-final to finish 13th overall in a time of 1:58.16.
© Sportsbeat 2013