SWIMMING - Richards creates history on way to gold at British Championships - The Droitwich Standard

SWIMMING - Richards creates history on way to gold at British Championships

Aaron Sutcliffe 12th Apr, 2023 Updated: 19th Apr, 2023   0

DROITWICH swimming star Matt Richards created history at the British Swimming Championships on his way to gold in the 200m freestyle at Ponds Forge in Sheffield.

Richards became the first freestyle swimmer to swim sub-22 seconds in the 50m, sub-48 seconds in the 100m and sub-1 minute 45 seconds in the 200m.

And the 20-year-old produced a sensational swim to win gold in the 200m as he finished in 1:44.83 to beat Olympic champion Tom Dean (1:44.93) and rank as the top performer in the world over the distance this year.

Richards said: “I’m really happy with that. There are still lots of things to move on and improve on, I probably didn’t push it on enough in that middle 100m.

“The plan was to race the race at the end of the day, there was probably a slightly faster time than that, I felt I had a bit more in the tank at the end which is promising for the summer.

“I’m pretty sure that’s world number one and two, I don’t think we’ve had that since Tokyo so that’s very promising for the summer and hopefully we can move it on there.

“There’s lots of big fish in the sea in these events nowadays. There are guys out there going really quick, young guys, old guys, it doesn’t matter anymore.

“This is a great place to try new things and learn stuff to take into the summer. That’s the plan now, full steam ahead, back in training and get on ready for a big summer.”

Victory in the 200m also saw Richards lower his own Welsh record by nearly a second as he pipped Team GB’s reigning Olympic champion Dean to gold with James Guy third and Olympic silver medallist Duncan Scott fourth.

The foursome of Richards, Dean, Scott and Guy won 200m freestyle relay gold for Team GB at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and set a new European record (6:58.58) on route to victory – the third fastest time ever swum over the distance.

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