Proud delighted to win British 50m freestyle title in Olympic qualifying time

Ben Proud

PLYMOUTH Leander star Ben Proud can look forward to this summer’s Olympic Games after retaining his British 50m freestyle title in Glasgow and setting a new national record on the way.

Proud stormed to a new British record time of 21.65 seconds in the heats before winning the final in 21.73, which was under the Olympic qualifying mark.

After his Tollcross success, the University of St Mark and St John student said: “I feel in good shape and I still feel like a faster swim was in me, but that’s just the way things were with the pressure of Olympic qualifying times.

“But, hopefully, that is me secured on the team and I can relax now, get back to training and get a really good chunk of work back at home.

“This has been four years in the making, a lot of dedication and a lot of hard work along the way. It hasn’t quite sunk in yet, but over the next coming days it will be a massive relief.”

Proud’s Leander team-mate Tom Fannon, just 17-years-old, took second in the 50m freestyle final in 22.24 seconds, which was a new age group record and was nearly half-a-second quicker than Proud swam at the same age.

Fellow Plymouth swimmer Aaron Rickhuss was eighth in the final in 22.90 seconds.

Meanwhile, John Slater was second in the Target Tokyo final with a time of 23.25.

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