Bury’s James Guy admitted he is feeling 21 again as a fresh training regime has breathed new life into his Paris 2024 hopes.

The 28-year-old made the big decision to leave the Aquatics GB Performance Centre in Bath and join team-mate Matt Richards in Millfield just a year out from the Games.

Guy earned two relay golds in Tokyo but admitted he felt his own performances going backwards and knew something had to change before Paris.

The hour’s drive to Millfield School appears to have done the trick, with Guy earning European short course silver in the 200m freestyle behind training partner Richards within months of the move last December, his first individual podium in the event since 2016.

And the swimmer is hopeful he can continue improving in time for the Games, where he will look to add to his five Olympic medals.

“What I am doing in the pool, I am really happy with and the main thing for me is making sure that I am fit enough and best prepared that I can be for an Olympic Games,” he said. “I am on track for that.

“I have changed programmes in the last 12 months, so having that and switching up has made things more exciting and being in a new environment and new place. I have really enjoyed that.

“I’d lost my confidence when I was at Bath and regressing slowly in my events. Especially my freestyle wasn’t where it should be.

“Now I am doing a lot more of what I did when I was younger, a lot of endurance work and I feel that is really paying off now.

“It is so frustrating, because you are working so hard every single day and you are wondering ‘what is the problem? Why isn’t this working?’

“Then you can get frustrated with the sport, you are not enjoying it anymore, you want to quit and all these things going through your head - you are getting older, and it is not doing the right work.

“It is frustrating, you wonder if your time is coming up, because what do you do? It was a just case of changing programmes because the work wasn’t really working anymore.

“This year my freestyle is back to where it would have been when I was 21 and I am happy with where I am, and my career now will end with my new coach.”

Guy is one of more than 1,000 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 medical support - this is vital for his pathway to the Paris 2024 Games.

Guy is hoping he has timed his rise back to the top to perfection, as he targets more glory this summer with the eyes of the world watching.

The men’s freestyle relay quartet of Guy, Richards, Tom Dean and Duncan Scott will combine again in Paris, where they will look to defend the 4x200m gold they won in Tokyo.

The 28-year-old is in no doubt the Olympics is the biggest stage of all and is determined to create a sporting legacy, even if there is no monetary reward on offer like in sports such as athletics.

“For us the Olympic Games is always the pinnacle of the meets, I feel like the whole world watches the Olympic games, whereas the swimming world only watches the world championships,” he added.

“It is very important to get right because it is once every four years, whereas worlds and Europeans is every two.

“You might only ever be able to get two Olympics, but to get three is cool. I feel that the Olympic Games is a little higher than anything else.

“We don’t get any prize money, so for us at the Olympics the main thing is creating a legacy of winning medals.

“I feel like it is good in some ways and bad in others, because want to do it for yourself and your country, create a legacy and not doing it for the wrong things.

“UK Sport help us out massively, which we are very grateful for, they are now offering money in athletics which is a great idea, but we are not in that situation.

“I think we are very, very lucky to have a UK Sport, I have been on funding for the last 10 years now. I have been able to have my mortgage with it, going on training camps, without it I wouldn’t be where I am today.”

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