Proud continues World Championship preparations with gold in Barcelona

BEN PROUD continued his preparations for next month’s World Aquatic Championships by winning a gold medal and breaking a championship record at the Mare Nostrum meeting in Barcelona.

Proud took victory in the 50m freestyle event in the Catalan city in a time of 21.58 seconds.

He edged out Greece’s Kristian Gkolomeev and Brazil’s Bruno Fratus to take the honours.

Fratus had just beaten him at the Canet leg of the series a few days earlier, where Proud had swum 21.69 for second pace.

Proud had won the 50m butterfly in Canet, but he only swam the freestyle in Spain.

Fellow Plymouth Leander swimmer Laura Stephens also competed in Barcelona as she also prepares for July’s World Championships.

She finished fifth in a strong women’s 200m butterfly final, which was won by Kapas Boglarka, with Britain’s Commonwealth Games champion Alys Thomas second.

Stephens also finished 10th overall in the women’s 100m butterfly competition.

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