The Royal School’s former pupil, Matt Richards, was part of Britain’s first Gold medal winning 4x200m freestyle relay. Team GB’s first victory in that event at the Olympics since 1908.
The quartet of Tom Dean, James Guy, Matt Richards and Duncan Scott raced the team to a commanding victory in the men’s 4x200m freestyle relay.
Richards’ amazing effort on the third leg proved key as he handed Duncan Scott a massive advantage to win the gold, narrowly missing the World Record.
The Russian Olympic Committee landed silver and Australia finished in the bronze medal position.
Elizabeth Simmonds said on commentary: “Matt Richards… what a superstar! He went in on what was probably the weakest leg and he had an exceptional swim.
“You see James Guy in tears and you expect nothing less, an exceptional character. There are so many emotions from him. I’ve got Goosebumps. That was absolutely exceptional.”
Matthew, coached by Royal School Head Coach, Marc Spackman, since 2015 found an ingenious way to train through the lockdown. Matthews’s parents bought a large paddling pool for Matt to train in the back garden. They attached a bungee cord to the garage wall and attached them to Matt in his wetsuit.
Matthew was a full time boarding student at The Royal School allowing him to focus on both his swimming and academics. He was an excellent role model, being courteous, humble and ambitious in equal measure. Principal, Mark Heywood said about Matt, ‘His quiet determination and commitment, like other swimmers, is hugely impressive and he and his family put his success down partly to the ‘family’ community of The Royal School that he has been a part of since 2016.’
In an interview with a local newspaper, Matt Richards said this was just the start of his journey and he has many more goals to achieve in swimming. We wish Matt all the best and are truly proud of him and his gold medal success.