Proud claims second British record and is joined on the podium by Fannon

PLYMOUTH Leander’s Ben Proud claimed a second national record in as many days at the British Swimming Championships in Sheffield.

Just 24 hours after he had smashed his own 50m British freestyle best time, he did exactly the same in the 50m butterfly event to finish the meet with two titles.

Proud clocked 22.80 seconds for the one-length butterfly race at Ponds Forge on Sunday night, which was 0.13 seconds faster than his previous best mark, set on his way to claiming Commonwealth Games gold in 2014.

It means the 22-year-old, who is currently training in Turkey with James Gibson, is the fastest swimmer in the world at the moment at both sprint events.

Following his second record-breaking swim, Proud said: “After last night I had nothing to lose so I thought just go into this final and swim as well as I can.

“Unlike the freestyle I didn’t have much practice going into it but it’s something I’m going to work on as we move towards Budapest.


“The big thing for this year is always the World Championships and these are the stepping stones to that. But I am definitely looking forward to that now and after these swims I can go into it with a bit more confidence.”

For the second night running, Proud was joined on the podium by another Plymouth Leander swimmer.

In the 50m freestyle final on Saturday evening, Tom Fannon had won silver, but on Sunday it was the turn of Robert Fannon to make the podium. He took bronze behind Proud and Adam Barrett in a time of 24.28 seconds.


Also on the final day of the championships, Leander’s Laura Stephens finished sixth in a high-quality women’s 100m butterfly final.

Stephens, 17, clocked 1:00.04 but five of her rivals went sub-60 seconds.

Plymouth College pupil Stephens had also reached the finals of the 50m and 200m butterfly events during the six-day championships.

She finished fourth in the 50m butterfly in new personal best time of 26.98 seconds and came sixth in the 200m in 2:12.16, having clocked 2:11.95 in the heats.

Both the 50m and 200m butterfly races were won by former Plymouth College pupil Charlotte Atkinson, who went under the World Championship consideration time in the longer distance race.

Jessica Jackson was another Leander multi-finalist in Sheffield.

She qualified for the finals of the 50m, 100m and 200m freestyle events, although she did not swim in the 50m.

Jackson came sixth in the 100m freestyle final in 55.43 seconds and was eighth in the 200m in 2:01.80. She had swam a new PB in the heats of 2:00.50.

Club team-mate Perry Gardner enjoyed an impressive meet.

The youngster reached the senior final of the 200m backstroke, where he finished seventh in 2:01.39.

He also won the Target Tokyo 50m backstroke on the first night of the championships with a time of 26.14 and came second in the Target Tokyo 100m backstroke final in 55.96 seconds.

Mount Kelly’s Oliver Taverner claimed victory in the junior men’s 50m breaststroke event in 29.08 seconds, while his team-mate Tony-Joe Trett-Oliver claimed second in the junior men’s 400m IM in 4:31.82.

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