Aquatics

Proud eyes Tokyo after World Championship disappointment, while Leander enjoy success in Glasgow

Ben Proud finished fifth in the 50m freestyle in Gwangju (picture courtesy of British Swimming)

BEN PROUD insists he will not let his disappointment at the World Championships dented his motivation for next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Proud will return from Gwangju empty handed after finishing fifth in the men’s 50m freestyle final on Saturday.

That followed on from a seventh-placed finish in the men’s 50m butterfly earlier in the week – an event where he was the defending champion.

It is the first major championships since the Olympics in 2016 where Proud has not medalled.

He was the fastest man in the world last year at the 50m freestyle with a best time of 21.11 seconds as he won both the European and Commonwealth titles, but he has struggled to hit those heights in 2019.

He clocked 21.55 seconds in Saturday’s freestyle final, which in a tight race was just 0.1 off a second of the silver medal.

Gold was won by American Caeleb Dressel, who beat Proud’s textile world best time with a 21.04 swim, which was also a championship record. Brazil’s Bruno Fratus and Greece’s Kristian Gkolomeev took joint silver with 21.45 seconds.

Afterwards Proud said: “I just didn’t quite execute the race as I would have hoped. But at the same time I gave it my all and that was the best race I could bring.

“I would have liked to have been on the podium but I know where my full potential lies and this doesn’t detract from my motivation for next year – it is going to be a busy year.”

An Olympic medal is the only one missing from Proud’s collection. He agonisingly finished fourth at the Rio Games in 2016.

Meanwhile, there was more success for Plymouth Leander at the British Summer Swimming Championships in Glasgow.

Reece Dunn and Lana Broekhoven both won gold medals, while Reid Jones picked up a silver.

Dunn, who had won gold in the 200m freestyle earlier in the week, was totally dominant in the para-swimming multi-class 100m butterfly event. He clocked 56.21 seconds to win by three-and-a-half seconds, despite being in tough training for the World Para-Swimming Championships.

Broekhoven produced a stunning performance to break her PB to win the 16-year-old girls’ 200m IM. She had been ranked seventh going into the final, but swam 2:19.29 to take victory.

There was a silver medal for Jones in the 17/18-year-old boys’ 50m freestyle. He clocked 23.34 seconds.

There was also a silver medal for Devonport Royal’s Aiden Symons-Brown in the 15-year-old boys’ 50m freestyle event in a PB time of 24.52 seconds. It was his second silver medal of the championships having also taken second in the 100m freestyle.

Also picking up a silver on Saturday evening was Mount Kelly’s Robbie Jones in the 17/18 years’ 200m IM in a time of 2:05.77.

Mount Kelly’s women’s 4x100m freestyle relay quartet of Macy Lawrence, Georgina Dennis, Athena Clayson and Emily Haimes also won a silver.

There were individual finals for Mount Kelly’s Clayson, Ben Harrison, Imogen Lambert, Niamh Robinson, Charlie Varker and Bella Hodges, as well as Leander’s Ella Bardgett and Laura Copping.

The championships at Tollcross conclude on Sunday.

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