An incredibly exciting year for Welsh aquatics is well underway. With the 2024 Olympics & Paralympics in Paris on the horizon and the first combined British Championships & Olympic & Paralympic trials two weeks away, our sport will be firmly in the spotlight. The Swim Wales National Championships will play host to Olympic hopefuls and the next generation of elite talent.

We have picked out some of the senior swims or races to keep an eye out for over the four days of racing at Wales National Pool. If you are not able to make it to Swansea to catch the action, you will be able to watch every second live on the Swim Wales website and YouTube channel.

You can view the full event programme here.

Welsh sprint specialist Dan Jones headlines the Men’s 100m Freestyle event as he looks to build into the British Championships and Olympic trials next month. Jones goes into the Championships on the back of encouraging performances at the USA Swimming Pro Series event in Westmont, Illinois. The 2022 Commonwealth Games finalist will kick-off the competition in the 100m Freestyle after clocking a best of 49.26 at last year’s British Summer Championships.

He will battle it out with Swansea University teammates Finn Nicholl, Max Elkin and Nathan Chan in a strong field.

Welsh athletes will be out to put themselves in the selection spotlight, but Panayiotis Panaretos is out to put his name in the frame for the Cypriot swimming squad in Paris. The Swansea University athlete will be out to lay down a selection marker before possibly heading to his homeland for the Cyprus qualifying event in May.

To be eligible to enter an athlete into an event, a nation must have at least one swimmer who has swum a time under the Olympic B qualifying standard. In the 100 Breast, the bar is set at 59.79, meaning Panaretos will have to shave one-and-a-half seconds off his seed time of 1:02.20 to put his name in the hat. He will line-up alongside Cardiff’s Brad Newman, who made his Commonwealth Games debut in Birmingham.

Commonwealth Games Backstroke bronze medallist Lily Rice has been building her stroke repertoire since clinching her podium place at Sandwell Aquatics Centre. The Pembrokeshire athlete is chasing a place at the Paralympic Games and will join Swim Wales teammate Ela Letton-Jones in the 100m Breaststroke event.

The SB7 swimmer will be hoping to drop a big personal best to get close to the British Para Swimming qualification time of 1:34.85, with her current seed time of 1:43.70.

Scarlet Major was another member of the Swim Wales team who made the successful trip across the pond to Westmont this month.

She returns to Welsh waters for the National Championships and will get her competition underway in a competitive 50m Backstroke race. The Swansea University swimmer recently finished fifth in the Pro Series B final and will be out to improve on her recent best time of 30.90 as she goes toe-to-toe with Swansea University teammates Katherine Butcher and Georgia Pease.

Max Anderson of City of Cardiff swam a huge personal best in the 200 Breast to secure a silver medal in a stacked final at the Commonwealth Youth Games in Trinidad and Tobago last year. He will be targeting another impressive performance as he leads the qualifiers in the 200m Breaststroke line-up. The target for Anderson is the time of 2:16.03 he set in the Caribbean as he looks to secure the Welsh title in a race containing Swansea Uni’s Aneurin Davies and Panaretos of Cyprus.

A trio of talented para-swimmers will race in the female 400m Freestyle. Becky Lewis of RCT gained her first experience of an international multi-sport competition at the Commonwealth Games two years ago alongside Rice, who earned backstroke bronze in Birmingham. Lewis (S10) and Rice (S8), will be joined by Letton-Jones (S12) of Swim Gwynedd in the combined event. Rice is currently two seconds outside the qualification standard for Paris in this event.

Cardiff’s Emilia John is the first seed with a time of 4:25.37, with Millie Patterson, Emily Forwood and Amy Hempenstall in the mix.

In the men’s 400m Free, Josh O’Brien of City of Cardiff heads the field after gaining international experience at last year’s Commonwealth Youth Games. The race will also see 2022 Commonwealth Games para-swimmer Dylan Broom compete before he heads to the London Aquatics Centre for the British Championships and Olympic trials. Broom earned a second place finish in the 200m Freestyle B final at the recent Citi Para Swimming World Series 2024 event in Aberdeen. Broom will be building into the British Championships where he will be aiming to lower his 200m Freestyle time.

There will also be a host of exciting relay events taking place in Swansea over the weekend. Welsh stars including the likes of multiple Welsh record holder Lewis Fraser will be racing for their respective clubs.