Matt Richards swimming

Matthew Richards in action during the Men's 200m Freestyle Paris Final on day six of the 2024 British Swimming Championships at the London Aquatics Centre, London. Picture date: Saturday April 6, 2024. (Photo by Zac Goodwin/PA Images via Getty Images)

Matt Richards Takes Gold Again To Prove He’s Britain’s No.1 For Paris

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By Hannah Blackwell

Matt Richards declared his second domestic title of the week was perfect practice for the Olympic Games as he won the most hotly-contested 200m freestyle race in the history of British swimming.

The Team Wales star came out on top of a stacked field to claim men’s gold on the final day of the British Swimming Championships and secure another nomination for this summer’s Olympics.

“It lived up to the hype,” said 2023 world 200m freestyle champion Richards.

“That was probably the best field you are going to find domestically. It was great practice for the Olympics.”

World champion Richards produced a storming final 50m to claim his second title of the week in 1:44.69 and rubber stamp a place in the 200m freestyle for Paris

With just two places available in each individual event, Tom Dean, who won individual 200m gold in Tokyo, will not defend his title.

Richards, 21, who booked his ticket to the French capital after taking the 100m freestyle title, will also defend his 4x200m freestyle gold from the Tokyo 2020 Olympics alongside Duncan Scott, Dean and James Guy, who finished a respective second through fourth inside the required nomination time.

Richards said: “I said to Tom at the end of the race it is so bittersweet because in a perfect world we would love it if we could all get in there and race.

“There is always going to be someone who just misses out and Deano is a phenomenal talent.

“I’m really excited, for me now as I’ve potentially made three individual events for the summer, so it’s going to be a really busy eight or nine days – but I can’t wait.

“I’m living the dream, this is what I’ve always wanted to do and I couldn’t be happier.

“The goal in the summer is just to win as much gold as we possibly can. I’ll dream big, work really hard over the next few months leading into it and the world is your oyster.”

Scott said: “It’s always so difficult when there are only two individual spots, and I’ve been on the wrong side of that last time, but at the same time that sort of urges everyone on.

“There’s real good quality in that race. It’s a great sign for the 4x200m, but it’s a tough way to end the week. Another exciting one and I’m really happy with that.”

Swimmers who did not earn direct nominations through the British Championships still have a chance of earning one of the remaining spots on Team GB if chosen by the selectors.

Anna Hopkin, a gold medallist in the mixed 4x100m medley in Tokyo, had already secured a place in Paris after defending her women’s 50m freestyle title on Thursday and added a 100m freestyle gold for another nomination.

Freya Anderson, who swam in the heats for that gold medal-winning relay team, was an uncertain participant in the championships after revealing last month that she had been diagnosed with glandular fever at the start of this year, forcing her to pull back from training.

Read more about Matt Richards

GB Champion Matt Richards Insists He’s Just Warming Up For Paris Olympics

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