"It's now a matter of trying to make sure I go and I am good enough to go and compete against the top guys and be in there in the finals and just see what I can do.
"Obviously, that is not an easy task but with a good plan in place and sticking to it religiously I think anything's possible."
Born in England, but with strong roots in Wales, Richards has enjoyed a few weeks off this summer but will soon be returning to hard training in September.
His wider family support may originate from Wales, but for the moment the dedication and hours spent in the pool are undertaken over the border.
Richards has trained under coaches Marc Spackman and Tom Elgar at the Royal School, Wolverhampton since moving from his local club in Droitwich when he was 13.
It is, it seems, a perfect fit for Richards who won a total of 12 golds at the national age groups championships in the two seasons subsequent to arriving at Wolverhampton before his European junior success.
He is quick to acknowledge how much the coaching pair have done for him, saying: "Oh, everything. I categorically wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn't for them.
"The real difference and the key thing they changed for me is my mindset and how I looked at swimming.
"They changed it from a performance-based mindset and always wanting to make sure I was going quick times, to looking at how I get those quick times and then a generally more positive mindset and looking on the bright side of things.
"So, if a race hasn't gone to plan - looking at it and going, 'right, these three things are why it hasn't gone to plan and that is how I'm going to make sure it doesn't happen again and it's better next time'.
"I just can't thank them enough."
Away from the pool, Richards is a "massive" rugby fan.
"I love watching it," he says. "All my family are (rugby fans). So the World Cup, I'll be watching that.
"It's tough to call. I want to say Wales will win but it's hard to look past the All Blacks."
His father hails from Cardiff and Richards has spent a lot of time there with family. For him there was never any doubt where his heart is.
He says: "I've grown up with all my family telling me I'm Welsh and now I'm older, absolutely I'm Welsh.
"I see myself as Welsh aside from sport. In general, I am absolutely a proud Welshman regardless of the fact I was born in England."