PLYMOUTH Leander’s Ben Proud won bronze in the men’s 50m butterfly event at the European Championship.
The Commonwealth Games champion, who like most of the Great Britain team is in hard training for this summer’s Olympics, touched in a time of 23.34 seconds.
He was just edged out for silver by Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh, who clocked 23.31.
The title was won by Ukrainian favourite Ardriy Govorov, who once again went under 23 seconds, stopping the clock in 22.92.
Proud, who has been concentrating on the 50m and 100m freestyle events, said competing in front of a home crowd in London had given him a ‘big buzz’.
He admitted he did not quite get his timing right at the end, which is why he missed out on silver, but he was nevertheless happy with his bronze medal.
“It was still a good race for me,” said the University of St Mark and St John student. “I’m still happy with that. It is not that far off my best and I haven’t done any training for fly at all. The 50m freestyle is definitely the one I’m putting most of the attention on.”
Meanwhile, Proud’s Leander team-mate Ruta Meilutyte set a new championship record in the semi-finals of the women’s 100m breaststroke event.
The Olympic champion qualified for tomorrow night’s final more than a second quicker than anyone else.
Meilutyte, who is world record holder in the event, clocked 1:06.16. The next fastest swimmer was Israel’s Hrafnhildu Luthersdottir, who qualified in 1:07.28.
In Tuesday morning’s heats, Leander teenager Kregor Zirk set a new Estonian record in the men’s 200m freestyle in a time of 1:50.70.
Club team-mate Juliette Casini and Jessica Jackson clocked 56.36 and 56.66 in the heats of the women’s 100m freestyle.