Aquatics

Proud claims his first European title with 50m freestyle victory in Glasgow

BEN PROUD claimed his first European title on Thursday evening at Glasgow’s Tollcross Pool.

The Plymouth Leander swimmer took victory in the men’s 50m freestyle final.

The 23-year-old went into the race as favourite having broken the championship, British and Commonwealth record in the semi-final the day before.

Although he could not quite repeat his stunning world-leading 21.11 second semi swim 24 hours earlier, he was still good enough to win. He clocked 21.34 seconds to hold off the challenge of Greece’s Kristian Gkolomeev.

His gold followed on from the silver he picked up in the 50m butterfly earlier in the competition.

Proud, who currently trains in Turkey but is still a member of Plymouth Leander, was delighted to win another title. He is now European and Commonwealth 50m freestyle champion and the 50m butterfly world champion.

“It was quite a bit slower than last night,” said Proud. “But I’m just delighted to come away with the gold.”

His former Plymouth Leander and Plymouth College team-mate Ruta Meilutyte just missed out on winning another medal. She finished fourth in the 50m breaststroke final.

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