Commonwealth Games: Ben Proud (50 Free), Kylie Masse (50 Back) Top Tuesday Semifinals

PROUD Ben ENS Energy Standard (ENS) ISL International Swimming League 2021 Match 9 day 2 Piscina Felice Scandone Napoli, Naples Photo Giorgio Scala / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto
Ben Proud -- Photo Courtesy: Giorgio Scala / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

Commonwealth Games: Ben Proud (50 Free), Kylie Masse (50 Back) Top Tuesday Semifinals

In the last semifinal races of the Commonwealth Games, a pair of world champions finished comfortably ahead of the field in each event. In the men’s 50 freestyle, that meant England’s Ben Proud dominating the race by three tenths of a second. Proud, who became the first British man to claim the global title in the splash-and-dash in June in a blistering mark of 21.63, finished atop the semifinal field in Birmingham with a mark of 21.63.

The only other finalists in the event from Worlds, Canada’s Josh Liendo and England’s Lewis Burras, qualified tied for second in 21.92. Liendo competed in this race just minutes after winning the first international gold of his career in the 100 fly final, and he will surely be favored to add another podium finish in Wednesday’s 50 free final after he was fifth at Worlds in a national-record mark of 21.61. Burras, meanwhile, was seventh in this event in Budapest.

Also getting into the final were Australia’s Tom Nowakowski (22.20), Trinidad and Tobago’s Dylan Carter (22.35), Singapore’s Tzen Wei Teong (22.36), Bahamas’ Lamar Tayor (22.45) and Australia’s Grayson Bell (22.55).

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In the women’s 50 backstroke, Kylie Masse will go into the final as the favorite after she clocked a mark of 27.47, breaking the Games record of 27.56 established by Wales’ Georgia Davies in 2018. Masse won the world title in this event in 27.18, becoming the eighth-fastest performer in history.

Wales’ Medi Harris was second in 27.64, while Australia occupied the third through fifth spots. Kaylee McKeown, already the champion in the 100 and 200 back, swam a mark of 27.75, one hundredth quicker than Mollie O’Callaghan’s 27.76. O’Callaghan was the 100 free champion earlier Tuesday night and the 200 free silver medalist earlier in the week. The third Aussie, Bronte Job, swam a time of 27.79.

England’s Lauren Cox (27.91), Northern Ireland’s Danielle Hill (28.28) and South Africa’s Rebecca Meder (28.69) were the other qualifiers for the final.

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