Calum Jarvis is ready for an impressive summer of swimming

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Calum Jarvis will compete at his third Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, aiming to upgrade the 200m freestyle bronze he claimed at Glasgow 2014 and leading Team Wales in the 4x200m freestyle. (Action Images)
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Olympic champion Calum Jarvis believes this can be the summer of Welsh swimming.

The Ystrad star will compete at his third Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, aiming to upgrade the 200m freestyle bronze he claimed at Glasgow 2014 and leading Team Wales in the 4x200m freestyle.

And the 30-year-old has high hopes for a competitive Welsh team in some of the blue riband events of the Games.

He said: "It's been a while since we've had a relay team that's been in contention of performing and getting a medal so I'm really looking forward to that.

"I think there's a strong possibility that we could come away with something but it's going to take four good swims to do it.

"Australia will probably come away with a gold but I think we should be fighting amongst those other medals as well.

"Individually, obviously to get into the final would be really good. The field is stacked with the Olympic gold and Olympic silver medallists in there and then you've got the Aussie boys who have been swimming really well.

"But I'm just excited to get in there and go against essentially the best in the world.

"It will be a good contest I think. That third medal spot is quite open and I'm looking forward to going in and seeing what I can do."

This summer, Team Wales, supported by funding raised by National Lottery players, will compromise over 200 athletes, and having secured his place on the squad, Jarvis is looking for medal success.

Jarvis was the fifth member of Team GB's iconic men's 4x200m freestyle relay victory that dethroned Team USA at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

The Welshman put in a strong performance in the heats to qualify the team of Duncan Scott, Tom Dean, James Guy and Matt Richards for the final.

The swim saw Jarvis and Richards go down in history, producing Wales' first Olympic titles in the pool since 1912.

And although he was unable to stand on the podium to receive his gold meal, the swimmer was still able to celebrate with his teammates backstage in a small ceremony captured on video by British Swimming

Jarvis said: "It was a really special moment. It would have been nice to have been on the podium with the other boys but it was a special moment having your teammates around you.

"That relay team's been there for years. We've been there together through thick and thin.

"Me, Jimmy and Duncan have been on that team together since 2015 and always giving our best for that relay and each other.

"To have that little mini presentation and for the spirits to be so high was really cool to be a part of and a really nice way to get that medal.

"It's pretty amazing when we look back at it - Olympic golds for Wales, we haven't had much of it.

"And going forward we've got such a good team of young swimmers that hopefully it won't be as long before we get that next Olympic gold.

"Hopefully it will just be something that's standard and common rather than something that's very rare. We want performances throughout Wales and we want to be giving our best."

Jarvis is one of more than 1,100 elite athletes on UK Sport’s National Lottery-funded World Class Programme, allowing them to train full time, have access to the world’s best coaches and benefit from pioneering technology, science and medical support.

Team Wales have selected a roster of 20 swimmers for the Birmingham Games, with Jarvis being one of only four athletes that have competed on the stage previously.

But the freestyle specialist is thrilled that the future - and present - of Welsh swimming looks strong.

He said: "It's really exciting for the future. It's a really young team and for those guys, that experience now is going to be crucial for the next Games.

"There's still some really good young guys shouting for medals and hopefully I will be able to pass any of my experiences onto them.

"That's sort of my role this year, not just to be a performer but also to help those who are coming through and guide them and get them ready to race well."

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