KIERAN Bird hopes a strong support network pushes him to achieve ‘big things’ at Tokyo 2020.

The Bicester swimmer makes his Olympic debut in Saturday morning’s 400m freestyle heats, which open proceedings in the pool less than 24 hours after the opening ceremony.

It will be a moment of immense pride for the 21-year-old, but he is not the only member of his household competing in Japan.

Bird lives with fellow Team GB rising swimming stars Jacob Peters and Brodie Williams, who also make their Olympic debuts.

They are all part of an exciting crop of talented swimmers coached by Jol Finck at the British Swimming National Centre based at the University of Bath, with training partners Calum Jarvis and Matt Richards also in action at the Aquatics Centre.

The group do not need to look far for motivation and Bird hopes this could prove the difference in the biggest event of their sporting lives.

“I think we can achieve big things, looking at how everyone is doing in training,” the former Bicester Blue Fins members said.

“All of us have quite high aspirations.

“None of us leave anything out of the pool in training, we all go for it and when you have five guys with the same ambitions and motivations, plus Jol with his achievements and goals as a coach, it just makes it easier to work hard.

“It’s not just in the pool but outside it too, everyone is really motivated when it comes to diet, psychology, all the little one per cents that make the difference.

“I’m looking for big things from all of us and it should be good to see.

“We socialise quite a lot outside the pool and there’s a lot of banter in the squad – it’s not great but we all like it.”

Bird, who has been based in Bath since 2018, earned Tokyo qualification in sensational style by taking nearly five seconds off his 400m freestyle personal best at April’s Olympic Trials.

His opening heat is at 11am on Saturday, while the former Cooper School pupil will also swim in the 800m freestyle event that starts next Tuesday.

“I’ve got some more in the tank compared to where I was in April,” Bird added.

“I’m looking forward to seeing what I can do and if something special is in store.”

Nine of the 30-strong Team GB swimming squad is based in Bath, including double Rio 2016 silver-medal winner James Guy – who was previously coached by Fink.

He races in the 100m butterfly alongside Bird’s housemate and friend Peters, who said of his close-knit group: “We like to see each other doing well, we all want each other to succeed and I think that plays a big part.

“Sometimes when you are having a bad day personally, you remember that you are training as a squad and you don’t want to bring that negative attitude in.”