Proud breaks his own British record to secure GB place at World Championships

BEN PROUD broke his own British record to claim victory in the men’s 50m freestyle final at the British Swimming Championships on Saturday night in Sheffield.

The Plymouth Leander star clocked 21.32 seconds to book his place on the Great Britain team for this summer’s World Championships in Budapest.

It was the fastest time in the world this year and was quicker than Anthony Ervin swam to win Olympic gold last year.

Proud, who has spent the last few months training in Turkey with James Gibson following Jon Rudd’s move to Ireland, knew he had to swim faster than his previous lifetime best of 21.54 to automatically qualify for the GB team.

Second in the race was his Leander team-mate Tom Fannon. The 18-year-old clocked 22.21 seconds.

Afterward his stunning performance, Proud, who was fourth at last summer’s Olympic Games, said:  “To swim that time at this point of the season is a really big confidence boost, but it is all about the summer.”

On Fannon’s potential, Proud added: “He’s a really talent kid. He really should have gone 21-second. I think in the next four years you are really going to see a lot of him.”

Proud will be looking for a 50m double on Sunday when he competes in the one length butterfly.

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