PLYMOUTH Leander’s Ben Proud qualified fastest for Sunday’s 50m freestyle final at the European Championship in London.
Proud clocked 21.84 seconds in Saturday night’s semi-finals, having earlier swum 22.15 in the heats, which was the morning’s fastest time.
The only swimmer quicker than the University of St Mark and St John student was France’s Olympic and world champion Flourent Manaudou, who won the first semi-final in 21.64.
“I didn’t have the best heats swim this morning so I wasn’t looking for any errors in that semi-final and it went my way,” said Proud.
“I’ve been working hard and spending a lot of time in the gym so I feel like I’m progressing well. The team is still in heavy train so to get times like that is positive for me.”
Proud was one of five Leander swimmer taking part in the men’s 50m freestyle event.
Tom Fannon (22.79), Mindaugas Sadauskas (22.82), Kregor Zirk (23.69), and Matthew Zammit (22.71) did not progress pass the heats. Zirk, however, did set another Estonian record.
In the women’s 50m freestyle heats, Leander had three competitors, with Juliette Casini (26.49), Jessica Jackson (22.59) and Ana-Maria Damjanovska (27.58) taking part.