The double Commonwealth Games sprint champion triumphed in the 50m butterfly time trial at the Olympic pool.
Proud clocked 23.51 seconds, somewhat slower than his British record time of 22.93 for the one-length event, but more than enough to edge out Loughborough’s Adam Barrett, who finished second in 23.93.
The 50m butterfly race is not a qualifying event for the World Championships and Proud’s focus will now switch to the 50m and 100m freestyle races.
The all-important 100m freestyle race is on Wednesday with the 50m on Friday.
There were impressive heat swims from current Plymouth College pupils Shauna Lee, Laura Stephens and Joe Hulme and old boy Joe Patching in the opening session of the championships, which are acting as trials for the World Championships, World University Game, European Youth Olympic Festival, European Games and World Junior Championships.
Great Britain international Lee qualified fifth fastest in the 100m freestyle event in a time of 55.35 seconds. Only Siobhan-Marie O’Connor, Fran Halsall, Rebecca Turner and Rebecca Guy were quicker.
In the same event, Lee’s Leander team-mates Juliette Casini, who is not eligible for finals in London as she has competed internationally for Belgium, clocked 56.75 seconds and Emma England 57.94. England’s time was enough for her to reach the junior girls’ (European Games) final.
Stephens was the fastest 15/16 year-old qualifier in the 200m butterfly event. The 15-year-old, who will compete for England in Italy next month, touched in 2:13.40. That was the eighth fastest swim from all the heats, which also included a 2:16.13 for Charlotte Atkinson and a 2:29.63 for youngster Lilly Parsons. Stephens will compete in the open final on Tuesday night.
Patching is at university in America but he is competing for Plymouth Leander in these championships and he was third fastest in the heats of the 100m backstroke.
Patching clocked 54.86, with only reigning Commonwealth and European champion Chris Walker-Hebborn and British record holder Liam Tancock faster.
Leander’s Joe Hulme was second fastest 17/18 year-old behind Cockermouth’s Luke Greenbank in a time of 55.81. Hulme’s team-mate Ollie Goodhew clocked 59.05.
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