Ben Proud Scorches To 21.42 In 50 Free; Owns 45 Top British Times

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Ben Proud: Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Ben Proud threw down the gauntlet as he went 21.42 in the 50 free at the British Swimming Selection Trials to go 0.01 behind  Vlad Morozov at the top of the rankings.

It was the seventh-fastest time of his career and means he now holds the top 45 British performances.

Proud, who won gold at the 2014 and 2018 Commonwealth Games, had shot to third in the rankings with a morning heat of 21.68 to match the time in which he came fourth at Rio 2016 and within the consideration time of 21.78.

The 2017 world bronze medallist emerged with a clear lead after his customary fine start and put clear water between him and the rest of the field to all but book a spot on the plane for Tokyo.

Yusuke Legard was second in 22.10 with 16-year-old Jacob Whittle third in 22.55 following a national age group record of 22.40 in the heats.

2021 Rankings

21.41, Vlad Morozov, Russian National Championships, April

21.42, Ben Proud, British Swimming Selection Trials, April

21.62, Ryan Held, Iron City Invite, April

21.72, Florent Manaudou, FFN Golden Tour, March

21.73, Bruno Fratus, Mission Viejo

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Ben Proud: Photo Courtesy: Mine Kasapoglu / ISL

Proud set the British record of 21.11 at the 2018 European Championships which places him as fourth-fastest man in history.

Only Cesar Cielo with his world record of 20.91, Fred Bousquet (20.94) and Caeleb Dressel (21.04) have gone quicker than the Briton.

Cielo set the global mark in December 2009 with just days left of the shiny-suit chaos which continues to distort the landscape.

Bousquet went sub-21 that same year and when Proud delivered the national record, it was a world textile mark until lowered further by Dressel at the 2019 World Championships in Gwangju.

Proud finished 0.17 off the third step of the podium which was occupied by Nathan Adrian of the USA and looking to Tokyo, he said:

“Going to last Olympics it was all quite new.

“I’ve had a host of experience since then and now I’m looking to do the best I can, do the best work leading into it and see what happens.”

The 50 free was Proud’s sole event of the meet but he was required to be in the bubble for the duration of the championships because of Covid regulations.

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

He said:

“It’s a different one this year. I’ve taken away the 100 – normally it’s something to get into the competition.

“For the Olympics this year, I really want to hone in on that 50 and if I want to do that then I really have to be able to get up and go when needed.”

Asked by double Olympic silver medallist Jazz Carlin on poolside about there being no margin for error in the one-length dash, Proud said:

“It’s a short race but lots to think about. We work on details every single day and I’ve always had a passion for it, over-thinking through the complete details and it pays off.”

 

 

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