The Tokyo relay gold medallist had already sealed his place in Paris with victory in the 100m Free, but now has the opportunity to clinch a sprint triple with the 200m Freestyle taking place tomorrow.

Ben Proud took the British title in a lightning quick time of 21.25, but Richards stormed home in second to seal a second nomination time and a Welsh record to boot with a time of 21.83.

“It was great fun,” said Richards. “I wanted to dive into Ben’s lane and hold on tonight!”

“I really enjoyed that, there were some great swims from the other boys and it’s amazing to see so many people under 22 seconds. I’m really pleased with that performance.”

Tyler Melbourne-Smith earned his second medal of the meet in the 800 Freestyle with a powerful performance that earned him a big lifetime best.

“Me and my coach decided before the race that we were going to go out a bit slower and come in quicker and it worked,” said Melbourne-Smith. “I knew where Rhys was just behind me so I’ll take second this year.”

LONDON, ENGLAND – APRIL 06: Matthew Richards of Millfield prepares to compete in the Men’s 50m Freestyle – Heat 6 during day five of the British Swimming Championships 2024 on April 06, 2024 in London, England. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

After Daniel Jervis sealed his place in Paris in the 1500m, young Welsh distance athlete Tyler Melbourne-Smith had another opportunity to showcase his development on the big stage. The Loughborough University athlete had finished just outside the medals on Thursday night, but he dropped a four-second personal best to ensure he came home with more hardware from London.

The 17-year-old bided his time as Tobias Robinson went into a solo lead, consistently hitting 30-second 50m splits before turning on the afterburners in the final 100m to clinch a silver medal and dip under eight minutes for the first time (7:59.59).

Harriet Jones produced a rapid morning swim to head into the final as fastest qualifier in a time of 58.44, and the Tokyo Olympian had her sights set on a second Olympic Games in her favoured Butterfly event.

Jones went out hard in the middle lane as she led the stacked final through 50m in 26.86, but she was unable to hold-off the Scottish duo of Keanna Macinnes and Lucy Grieve, and Loughborough’s Laura Stephens – and was forced to settle for a fourth place finish.

Mount Kelly’s Joshua Inglis led from the front and never looked back in the Men’s 200m Breast Junior final. Inglis was pushed hard by Daniel Ransom of Leeds, but broke clear on the final leg to earn a deserved British Junior title in 2:18.95. Joseph Ashley was fifth in a close grouping behind Inglis.

Commonwealth Youth Games medallist Max Anderson earned a place in the 200mn Breast Paris final as he continues his impressive progression at City of Cardiff Swimming Club. In a tight final, James Wilby pulled ahead in the final 50 to win the gold medal in 2:10.03, with Anderson finishing an impressive seventh in 2:16.04.

Dan Jones claimed his second sprint B title of the Aquatics Swimming Championships after again narrowly missing out on a place in the Paris final showpiece. The Swansea University swimmer showed his pedigree again as he equalled his heat time of 22.72 to take the touch ahead of Millfield’s Thomas Watkin and Wales Commonwealth Games teammate Tom Carswell (22.84).

Having already secured his place in Paris over 100m, Richards was out to complete the second leg of a spring triple crown in the 50m Free. The third-fastest qualifier was required to lower his heat time to dip under the nomination standard, and he did just that as he chased eventual champion Ben Proud to the wall.

Proud took the title in a lightning quick time of 21.25, but Richards stormed home in second to seal a second nomination time and a Welsh record to boot with a 21.83 50m Free.

If winning is a habit, then Theodora Taylor is firmly in the groove after another victory in the Women’s 200m IM B final. After impressive performances in the 50m Free and 200m Breaststroke, she showed her range of strokes again in a competitive Junior final. Despite trailing four swimmers heading into the final 50, Taylor sprinted to victory on the Freestyle leg to take the touch in 2:19.19. Holly Marshall was fifth in 2:20.41.

Meghan Willis continued a full programme with a final appearance in the 200m IM Para Paris Final. The 16–year-old impressed again as she improved on her heat time of 2:46.43, to claim 778 para points.