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Paris 2024: Welsh swimmers set to make a splash at this year’s Olympics

WELSH athletes Medi Harris, Matthew Richards, Daniel Jervis, and Kieran Bird are set to represent Team GB in the Olympic pool programme, while Hector Pardoe, who secured a bronze medal at February’s World Championships, will compete in the 10km open water marathon event.

Comprising over 15 percent of the 33-strong British swimming team, the Welsh contingent will showcase their skills at La Defense Arena in July and August.

Matthew Richards, aged 21, made history by clinching Wales’ first gold medal in the pool in over a century during the 4x200m Freestyle relay in Tokyo three years ago. Following an impressive display at the Speedo Aquatics GB Swimming Championships, Richards secured nomination times across the 50m, 100m, and 200m Freestyle events in Paris, where he will also contribute as a vital member of the relay teams.

Daniel Jervis, a distance specialist from Swansea University, is returning for his second Games, having finished fifth in the 1500m final in Tokyo. Despite facing setbacks, including missing out on the 2022 Commonwealth Games due to COVID-19, Jervis triumphed by claiming the British title and surpassing the nomination time.

Reflecting on his selection, Jervis expressed his excitement for the upcoming Games and gratitude for the support he has received from his loved ones. He acknowledged the challenges he has faced since Tokyo but affirmed his resilience and determination to overcome them.

Kieran Bird, another Tokyo participant, secured the British 400m title at the London Aquatics Centre, narrowly missing the nomination time by two tenths of a second. Nevertheless, his consistent performance earned him a spot in his second Olympic team.

Medi Harris of Porthmadog will make her Olympic debut in France, boasting an impressive record of Commonwealth, European, and World medals since the previous Games. As a Backstroke specialist, Harris qualified as part of the Women’s 4x200m Freestyle relay team at the London Aquatics Centre.

Outside the pool, Hector Pardoe, a Tokyo 2020 Olympian, will compete in his second consecutive Olympic marathon swimming event despite an eye injury curtailing his medal aspirations in Japan. Joining him is Hayley Baker, coach of Swim Wales and Swansea Aquatics, who will lead the marathon swimming team in Paris.

Fergus Feeney, CEO of Swim Wales, expressed immense pride in the Welsh athletes selected for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, highlighting their representation as a significant achievement for the nation’s aquatics community.

Ross Nicholas, National Performance Director of Swim Wales, commended the five selected athletes for their dedication and performance, emphasizing their hard-earned spots on the Olympic team as a testament to their commitment to the sport. With a blend of returning Olympians and a debutant, Nicholas expressed excitement for what the Welsh athletes can accomplish in Paris.

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Medi Harris – Porthmadog

Matt Richards – Worchester – Father is Welsh, represents Wales

Daniel Jarvis – Neath

Kieran Bird – Bicester – Father is Welsh, represents Wales