Commonwealth Games: Sprint Maven Ben Proud Registers Three-Peat in the 50 Freestyle

PROUD Benjamin GBR Gold Medal Men's 50m Freestyle Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates 19/12/21 Etihad Arena FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) Photo Andrea Masini / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

Commonwealth Games: Sprint Maven Ben Proud Registers Three-Peat in the 50 Freestyle

The goal when England’s Ben Proud stepped onto the blocks earlier in the week for the 50-meter butterfly at the Commonwealth Games was redemption. Following a disqualification in the event at the last edition of the meet, Proud was intent on recapturing the gold medal he first won in 2014. Indeed, Proud got the job done via a dominant performance.

On the final day of the Commonwealth Games, Proud came through again.

Unleashing a performance of 21.36, Proud easily won the 50 freestyle and led the second straight gold-silver finish for Great Britain on the day, as Lewis Burras was the runnerup in 21.68. Canadian Joshua Liendo was the bronze medalist in 22.02. The victory marked the third straight at Commonwealths for Proud, who also dispatched his competition in 2014 and 2018.

In a meet that has been dominated by Australia, especially on the women’s side, Proud maintained the momentum of the British nations that was triggered in the first event of the evening. Scotland’s Duncan Scott and England’s Tom Dean battled in the 200 individual medley, with Scott narrowly prevailing.

Anything short of a gold medal would have been unsatisfactory for Proud, and a shock to fans. In June, Proud captured the gold medal in the 50 freestyle at the World Championships in Budapest. Although that triumph arrived amid the absence of American star and Olympic champ Caeleb Dressel, it required a decision over the United States’ Michael Andrew. More, Proud delivered a time of 21.32.

During his career, Proud has established himself as one of the world’s purest sprinters, a man consistently capable of popping swift performances in the 50 freestyle and 50 freestyle. In the 50 free, he has captured gold medal sat the World Champs, European Championships and Commonwealth Games. The only piece missing from his resume is an Olympic medal, an omission he will try to solve at the 2024 Games in Paris.

“This is something really special,” Proud said. “My intention on the 50 fly was to reclaim my title. Here, it was to keep it with me for the third time. This is another legacy swim for me. To have done it with another English boy on the podium next to me is something very nice. I managed to hold off the young guns for one more year.”

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