Matt Richards (pictured) along with Calum Jarvis ended Wales’ 108-year wait for an Olympic gold medalist. Pic: Getty Images.

Matt Richards And Dan Jervis Start Countdown To Massive Year For GB And Wales

By Graham Thomas

Olympic champion Matt Richards has been backed to start fine-tuning his season for next year’s Commonwealth Games after being named in the Great Britain swimming squad for the World Short Course Championships.

Richards will be joined by another Welsh Olympic finalist, Dan Jervis, for the championships in Abu Dhabi in December.

It will be the first outing for the Welsh pair under the GB banner since Richards struck gold in the 4x200m freestyle relay in Tokyo and Jervis finished fifth in his 1500m freestyle final.

But the significance of the event is that it ushers in a huge year of competition for both men in 2022 with the World Championships, European Championships and Commonwealth Games to come.

Both Swim Wales stars are expected to be key medal prospects for Team Wales in Birmingham next July.

British Swimming’s national performance director Chris Spice said: “There have been so many incredible performances from our swimmers in 2021, and this World Short Course Championships will be a final opportunity in the year for them to test themselves against the world’s best.

Dan Jervis. Pic: Getty Images.

“The short-course nature of the meet provides unique chances for the athletes to fine-tune certain race techniques and skills as we gear up for what will be a non-stop year in 2022, with World Championships, European Championships and Commonwealth Games.

“It will also be good for this tight-knit team to come together again.

“One highlight of our Tokyo experience was how close the entire team were, helping each other throughout the Games – and meets like this one in Abu Dhabi play their part in building those vital bonds.”

Besides Richards, three other Olympic champions have been included in Great Britain’s team.

 

Tom Dean, Duncan Scott and Freya Anderson have all been included in the 13-strong team heading to the United Arab Emirates for the meeting between 16-21 December.

Dean beat Scott to 200m freestyle gold at the recent Tokyo Games, before the pair combined with Richards and James Guy to win the men’s 4x200m freestyle. Richards’ fellow Welsh star Calum Jarvis was also part of that gold-medal winning squad.

Anderson was part of the mixed 4x100m medley relay triumph.

British Swimming team selected to compete at the FINA World Short Course Championships in Abu Dhabi, UAE (16-21 December 2021):

Freya Anderson – England, Bath National Centre

Tom Dean – England, Bath National Centre

Lucy Hope – Scotland, University of Stirling

Daniel Jervis – Wales, Swansea University

Cameron Kurle – England, University of Stirling

Max Litchfield – England, Loughborough National Centre

Edward Mildred – England, Bath National Centre

Ben Proud – England, University of Bath

Molly Renshaw – England, Loughborough National Centre

Matthew Richards – Wales, Bath National Centre

Duncan Scott – Scotland, University of Stirling

Katie Shanahan – Scotland, City of Glasgow Swim Team

Abbie Wood – England, Loughborough National Centre

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