Short Course World Championships: Double Gold For Kliment Kolesnikov; Ben Proud Wins 50 Free (Men’s Recap)

KOLESNIKOV Kliment RUS Gold Medal, SAMUSENKO Pavel RUS 50m Backstroke Men Final Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates 19/12/2021 Etihad Arena FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) Photo Andrea Staccioli / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto
Kliment Kolesnikov after winning gold in the men's 50 back -- Photo Courtesy: Andrea Staccioli / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

Short Course World Championships: Double Gold For Kliment Kolesnikov; Ben Proud Wins 50 Free (Men’s Recap)

Kliment Kolesnikov won double gold on day four of finals at the Short-Course World Championships in Abu Dhabi.

Ryan Held claimed gold and silver and Ben Proud became the first Briton to make a trip to the podium at the meet when he took the 50 free title.

Kolesnikov qualified quickest for the 100IM by 0.01 from Daiya Seto who earlier stated his intention of sweeping the men’s IMs.

Kolesnikov led at halfway and there was little to choose between the field at the final turn with the Russian coming off the wall to forge ahead down the last 25, breathing to his left and eyeing Seto all the way.

The double Olympic medallist claimed the win in 51.09 ahead of Norway’s Tomoe Hvas (51.35) and Thomas Ceccon of Italy (51.40).

Seto finished one place outside the medals in 51.46.

He said:

“Finally my first individual gold medal at these championships so I am really happy with that.

“I love swimming with everyone: it’s a really big pleasure for me to swim with those guys.”

He returned for the 50 back where he had a slow reaction time with Lorenzo Mora ahead at 25.

The Russian though hit his turn perfectly and came back on the second length and timed his touch to the wall to take his second gold of the session in 22.66.

Christian Diener and Mora shared silver in 22.90.

Kolesnikov said:

“It was a really good night for me. I am really proud of my team because they are cheering so loud.”

Ben Proud Moment; Two Medals For Ryan Held

Proud went fifth all-time in a British record of 20.40 at the recent ISL final.

He was inches behind Held on the first 25 with the pair dead level at the turn.

Proud spotted the wall perfectly with a great breakout and his timing into the wall saw him claim GB’s first medal in 20.45 as all the components came together.

Held was second in 20.70 with Canada’s Joshua Liendo Edwards third in 20.76.

Proud was tearful in the mixed zone in Tokyo after he was joint fifth in the 50 free but he finishes 2021 in a good place.

He said:

“It’s been a weird year for me.

“I am happy to walk away from 2021 with a medal around my neck.

“I am really happy to execute the race I wanted when I wanted.”

Held followed up his silver by anchoring the USA 4×200 free relay to victory.

The USA led after the first leg and Trenton Julian put clear water between himself and the Russian Federation in the opening 100 of his swim.

They were ahead at the halfway stage from Russia and Brazil and come the 600 mark they were 1.04 inside the world record.

Held was the anchor leg and he went away from the world-record line on the first 50, going to his legs really quickly.

He had a six-metre lead and despite the pianos on his back, Held won in 6:47.00, 0.19 outside Brazil’s world record of 6:46.81.

Russia were second in 6:49.12 with Brazil third in 6:49.60.

Held was also part of the USA’s 4×50 quartet that finished fourth, 0.03 outside the medals.

In fact, Held handed over with a 0.42 lead after the opening leg.

Alessandro Miressi had a superb dive for Italy on the final leg and his momentum off the wall saw him into first place to win in 1:23.61.

Russia were second in 1:23.75 with the Netherlands third in 1:23.78, the USA outside the medals in 1:23.81.

FINA Short Course World Championships: 50 Fly Semis

Nicholas Santos had an astonishing start in the first semi and held a half body-length lead at 25, spotted the turn perfectly and then drove forward into the wall to stop the clock at 22.12.

Szebasztian Szabo – with Santos the joint world-record holder – got the touch in the second semi in 22.11 with Dylan Carter through in third (22.18).