PLYMOUTH Leander’s Ben Proud comfortably booked his place in the final of the 50m freestyle event at the World Championships in Budapest on Friday evening.
The new 50m butterfly world champion clocked 21.60 seconds to qualify joint third for Saturday’s prestigious ‘splash and dash’ medal showdown.
Only American Caeleb Dressell (21.29) and Russian Vladimir Morozov (21.45) went quicker in the semis.
Proud has swum 21.32 this season, which is the second fastest time in the world and he hopes he can get close to that British record time in the final.
“With the 50 freestyle it is all about getting through the rounds,” said Proud, who had clocked 21.93 in the morning heats.
“It was not anything like my best time, but 21.6 is okay and I feel I can go faster tomorrow.
“After the 50 fly I know that it’s there, it is all about just getting that swim out of me. I know it is possible, but it is all about put everything together and getting everything right.
“I think I can get close to that (British record) time.”
Meanwhile, Plymouth’s Owen Weymouth finished in 19th spot at the end of Friday’s opening two rounds of the high diving event with 119.45 points. Weymouth is the youngest competitor in the field.
His Plymouth Diving team-mate Iris Schmidbauer, competing for Germany, was 10th after the opening round of the women’s event.