Aquatics / Olympics

Sprint specialist Proud happy to safely secure his place in Olympic final

BEN PROUD secured his place in the men’s 50m freestyle final at the Tokyo Olympics.

After a far from convincing heat swim, Proud lifted his performance by swimming 21.67 seconds from lane one in his semi-final.

That ranks him joint fifth going into the final where just 0.36 seconds separate all the qualifiers.

Proud, who has won world, European and Olympic titles, said:  “To be honest, I was quite upset with myself yesterday – I’ve put a lot into this meet, I shouldn’t have gone that close to being kicked out of the heats, so I wanted to come in tonight and give it a bit more, and we’re into the final.

“That’s job done, that’s where I want to be. It’s going to be a good race tomorrow, that’s for sure.

“Obviously, Caeleb Dressel is swimming amazingly well, but the rest of the field is up for grabs. I just want to get in, perform by myself and show the work I’ve been doing with all my coaches this year.

“I think we’re on to something good, but there’s eight people in the race tomorrow, eight people stand a chance of winning a medal. I just want to go in, have fun and enjoy the Olympics.”

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