Droitwich-born Olympic swimmer Matt Richards will be gunning for gold as he dives into the Commonwealth Games this weekend.

This time last year Richards was making waves as part of the first British team to win the 4x200m relay since 1908.

Still just 19 years of age, it’s been an incredible year for the former Bishop Perowne pupil.

“It’s definitely been busy, that’s one way of describing it,” he said.

“Last year was a huge success, we were really happy with the result.

“There was still a hell of a lot to learn from it and so we’ve done a lot of things this season that we didn’t do last year.

“Preparation for the Commonwealths is going really well and I’m just really excited to get started now.”

On winning Olympic gold at 18, he said: “I’d like to think I haven’t changed but it’s taught me a lot

“It’s opened a lot of doors that weren’t open before which I’m hugely grateful for and it’s given me a different perspective on the way that the world of sport works.

“It taught me that actually the pinnacle of sport, once you get there you’re no different from anybody else and likewise the guys who have done it ten times over are no different from you.

“That was the important thing for me to learn was that reaching those highest levels is attainable for anybody.”

READ MORE about Richards' Olympic journey:

Malvern Gazette: Richards won his first Olympic gold medal aged just 18. Picture: PA WIRERichards won his first Olympic gold medal aged just 18. Picture: PA WIRE

Richards’ journey began aged five at Droitwich Leisure Centre before joining the Droitwich Dolphins Swimming Club at eight and then Worcester Swimming Club aged 10.

While lots of his family still live in the Midlands, his parents' roots lie in Wales and as such that is who he will represent in the pool at the Commonwealth Games.

He added: “I can’t wait, it’s been a childhood dream of mine.

“I remember growing up watching the rugby and supporting the Welsh lads anytime they were playing anybody, especially England, I’d always be hugely supportive.

“I was hoping to try and qualify (for the Commonwealth Games) in 2018 but I was only 14 so that was quite a big goal and I didn’t quite achieve it that year.

“But to have the opportunity this year to race and do it for my home nation is so exciting and I can't wait to put that cap on and give it my all.

“Hopefully we can walk away with our heads held high and our necks a little bit heavier than we got there with.”

Malvern Gazette: Despite growing up in Droitwich, Richards will represent Wales at the Commonwealth GamesDespite growing up in Droitwich, Richards will represent Wales at the Commonwealth Games

Richards’ Commonwealth journey begins on Saturday with the men's 200m freestyle heats – the session starting at 10:30am.

The finals, should he make them, begin at 7pm.

Then on Sunday he will take part in the 100m freestyle.

Once again the heats begin at 10:30am, with the semi-final at 7pm and the final on Monday, August 1, at 7pm.

Richards will also be hoping to take part in the relay races, with the team yet to be decided.