Proud eases to victory on opening day of ASA Winter Meet in Sheffield

Ben Proud

PLYMOUTH Leander’s Ben Proud eased to victory in the men’s 50m freestyle final on the opening day of the ASA National Winter Meet in Sheffield on Thursday.

Double Commonwealth Games champion Proud, who finished fourth at this summer’s Olympic Games, clocked 21.23 seconds at the short course competition.

Russian guest Georgy Chernov was second in 22.03 seconds.

Proud’s Leander team-mate Tom Fannon took ninth, while colleague Ivo Staub won the B final in 22.42.

Plymouth’s Jessica Jackson claimed silver medal in the women’s 100m freestyle final.

Jackson had qualified fastest from the heats, but in the evening session was edged out by Ealing’s Anna Hopkin.

Hopkin clocked 53.87 seconds, while Jackson touched in 53.94.

Leander’s Seychelles international Felicity Passon, fresh from the World Short Course Championships, finished ninth in 55.78 seconds.

The 100m B final was won by Plymouth’s Juliette Casini in 55.24. Team-mate Anita M’Cartney was fourth in 56.06 and Mount Kelly’s Athena Clayson was fifth in 56.43. Clayson took the junior trophy and set a Mount Kelly record.

There was a successful opening day at the championships for Mount Kelly’s Niamh Robinson. She won bronze medal in the women’s 50m breaststroke event in a time of 31.15 seconds. Robinson also reached the 200m IM final, where she came ninth in 2:12.86.

Plymouth Leander’s Edoardo Valsecchi just missed out on a medal in the men’s 100m butterfly. He took fourth in 52.96, with team-mate Reece Dunn ninth in 53.95, and Sam Dailley was sixth in the B final with a time of 54.25.

Leander’s Laura Stephens, who had just flown back from the World Short Course Championships in Canada, finished fifth in the women’s 200m butterfly final in 2:10.36.

Team-mate Perry Gardner reached the 200m backstroke final, where he placed ninth in 1:58.88. Mount Kelly’s Benjamin Staig was 10th in 1:59.03.

In the B final, Mount Kelly’s Alexander Seymour took third in 1:59.70 and team-mate Finn Linton was fourth in 2:00.20.

In the 200m IM B final, Plymouth’s Freddy Clampett was second in 2:01.83 and James Watson fourth in 2:03.31, while Mount Kelly’s Ben Staig was eighth in 2:05.96.

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