World Championships, Day Five Men’s Finals: Jordan Crooks Makes History With 50 Free Gold; 0.03 Ahead Of Ben Proud

Jordan Crooks: Photo Courtesy: Giorgio Scala / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

A Special Thanks to Deep Blue Media for providing the images from this meet

Deep Blue Media

World Championships, Day Five Men’s Finals: Jordan Crooks Makes History With 50 Free Gold; 0.03 Ahead Of Ben Proud

Jordan Crooks won the 50 free in 20.46, edging Ben Proud by 0.03 to claim the Cayman Islands’ first medal in World Championship history in Melbourne.

Crooks and Proud couldn’t be separated at 25 with the pair splitting 9.81 but the University of Tennessee swimmer had a huge turn, coming up ahead.

It came down to the touch with Crooks taking gold ahead of the defending champion Proud who had won every title available to him since coming fifth at the Tokyo Olympics.

The Briton was 0.09 outside his national record in 20.49 with Dylan Carter of Trinidad and Tobago coming from fifth at halfway to take bronze in 20.72.


Crooks: 9.81/10.65

Proud: 9.81/10.68

Carter: 10.05/10.67

Szebasztian Szabo was fourth (20.84) followed by Maxime Grousset (20.90), Florent Manaudou (20.91), Kyle Chalmers (20.92) and Lewis Burras (20.95).

It has been a stunning world championships debut for Crooks who went joint fourth all-time alongside Vlad Morozov with Friday’s semis blast of 20.31.

Only Caeleb Dressel with his world record of 20.16, Manaudou (20.26) and Roland Schoeman, who went 20.30 back in 2009, have gone quicker.

That followed his prelim of 20.36 which had elevated him to fifth in history.

He had been quickest through the heats and semis into the 100 free final before finishing sixth.

Come the medal ceremony and Crooks put his hand on his heart as ‘Beloved Isle Cayman’ played, taking deep breaths and blowing hard.

Crooks paid tribute to all those who have helped him on his journey to date, saying:

“It feels great.I feel blessed and I am really grateful for my God, my coaches, my family and everyone who has helped me along this journey. It means a lot to see this come to light. This is awesome. 

“I looked up to a lot of these guys. It was awesome to be able to race them and to have this experience. They are extremely talented and I have much respect for every one of them.”

Proud has been a pioneer since the dark days following Tokyo winning the short-course title in Abu Dhabi before claiming 50 free gold at the World Championships in Budapest, Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and Europeans in Rome: the only man in history to hold all the titles simultaneously.

He said:

“I wasn’t too sure if I was going to come to this meet, but I had a chat to my coach, and did a quick six-week block (of training), so to be doing this sort of time is brilliant.

“Seeing Jordan swim so quick yesterday morning completely changed the dynamic of the race as suddenly we were all chasing someone. It brought a brilliant atmosphere to the call room, everyone was excited, and to have a new name on the scene and see a twenty-year-old swim so quick is brilliant for the sport.”

It was the first freestyle medal on the international stage for Carter to add to his world short-course and Commonwealth fly medals and backstroke gong from the Pan-American Games.

He said:

“I am happy to come away with something coming down here. it was really fun.

“Proud of Jordan, you know, to have two Caribbean athletes in the men’s 50 final. that’s brand new.

“So both of us on the podium. That’s massive for the region and for serving the region, especially in the men’s 50 freestyle, which is you know, arguably the fastest, well the fastest event in the pool so proud of that.”

Here is a look a the results from the World Championships:


m 50 free melb




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