By Ian Gordon
Matt Richards is hoping to come away with something shiny from the Olympics in Tokyo after bagging his second medal in the Buda pool in Hungary.
The 18-year-old Welsh freestyle record holder at 100m & 200m followed up his silver in the men’s 4x100m free relay with another in the 4x200m free at the European Championships in Budapest.
Now Richards, who is yet to make his senior bow for Wales, is relishing making his Games debut in Japan and looking to add to his medal haul.
“Just making the Olympics has been a dream of mine for a long time, so to be part of a team that’ll be challenging for a nice shiny medal come the summer will be amazing,” said Bath swimmer Richards, who qualifies for Wales via his father.
“It’s a huge learning experience for me being on this relay as it’s a very different event swimming it on a relay as it is as an individual.
“But I’m surrounded by a lot of guys who’ve got a lot of experience and knowledge to pass down to me, so I’m in a good position and looking forward to going again in the summer.”
Richards, who swan the second leg, joined with National Centre Bath team-mates Tom Dean and James Guy and anchor leg swimmer Duncan Scott to set a British record.
The time of 7:04.61 – Richards’s leg was 1:46.97 – beat the Championship record set by the British quartet three years ago but it was Russia who took gold this time in 7:03.48.
Fellow Welsh swimmer Calum Jarvis had also played his part in the heats earlier along with Richards.
Earlier, Dan Jervis, another of the six Welsh swimmers in Budapest – and also heading for Toyko, finished fifth in the final of the men’s 1500m freestyle having been battling for bronze for much of the race.
Jervis clocked 14:58.42 as Ukraine’s Mykhaylo Romanchuk took gold in 14:39.89.