Olympic Champion Matt Richards To Make Commonwealth Debut For Team Wales

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Matt Richards: Photo Courtesy: Speedo

Olympic champion Matt Richards is among 16 swimmers selected to represent Wales at the Commonwealth Games starting in Birmingham in July.

Calum Jarvis, who swam the heats of the men’s 4×200 free in Tokyo with Richards before the British squad went on to win Olympic gold, is also selected for the multi-sport event that runs from 28 July.

Alys Thomas, winner of the 200 fly four years ago in Gold Coast in a Games record of 2:05.45 that would have secured Olympic bronze, will also travel to Birmingham.

THOMAS Alys IRO Team Iron (IRO) LA Current LAC ISL International Swimming League 2021 Match 5 day 2 Piscina Felice Scandone Napoli, Naples Photo Giorgio Scala / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

Alys Thomas: Photo Courtesy: Photo Giorgio Scala / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

Dan Jervis, fifth in the 1500 in Tokyo, will seek to add to the silver he won in the longest race in the pool in 2018 and his 400 bronze at Glasgow 2014.

The 16 swimmers and three divers join four para swimmers who have already qualified with the 23-strong Welsh team including 18 debutants, Richards among them.

The 19-year-old may already boast a European gold and two silvers as well as his Olympic crown but Richards has yet to make his Commonwealth bow which he will do weeks after making his World Championships debut in Budapest later this month.

Medi Harris, who heads to Budapest after lowering Georgia Davies‘ Welsh 100 back record to 59.24 at the McCullagh International in February, is also selected along with Olympian Kieran Bird.

Wales will take three divers to the Commonwealth Games for the first time.

High diving star Aidan Heslop has been selected for his second Games after taking his first Red Bull World Series victory in Boston, and will team up with Ruby Thorne of Dive London in the platform synchro event.

Sheffield Diving’s Lucy Hawkins, who is also aiming for success on the platform, completes the squad.

Swim Wales National Performance Director Ross Nicholas said:

“We are extremely proud of the sixteen swimmers and three divers who have gained selection to represent Team Wales at the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

“These athletes have shown great resilience throughout the challenges of the last couple of years to produce outstanding performances throughout the nomination period and their selection is very well deserved.

“Our focus as a team now turns to Birmingham and we are excited to see how the aquatics team of swimmers, para-swimmers and divers can come together and build on their performances throughout the nomination period to produce an even higher level of performance at the Games for Team Wales.”

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Daniel Jervis; Photo Courtesy: FINIS

Chris Jenkins, CEO of Commonwealth Games Wales, said:

“I would like to add my congratulations to all those selected to represent Wales in Birmingham ‘22 and thank all the coaches, support staff, and friends and family, who stand behind the athletes. An opportunity to represent your country goes deeper than putting on a Welsh top and competing in sport.

“For Wales, it’s about unity, coming together as a small nation and being proud of who we are. The success we’ve had in the Commonwealth Games speaks for itself, and the athletes who have made their mark are now sporting idols for many, from Colin Jackson, Geraint Thomas, Kirsty Wade to Lauren Price.

“The selection panel certainly had a tough job this year, and seeing the line-up, really transforms all the hard work over the last four years into reality.

“It’s great to see a mixture of familiar and successful faces with new Team Wales members, all eager to make their mark on the Commonwealth stage. 50 days to go; we can’t wait.”

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