Ben Proud Crushes 3rd British Sprint Record On Final Night of ASAs

The 2015 Short Course ASA Winter Meet wrapped up tonight in Sheffield, complete with its share of meet British records and individual best times across the final events.

Day 1 Recap
Day 2 Recap
Day 3 Recap
Meet Results

In the morning prelims session, sprinter Ben Proud cranked out another British Record to go along with the 50m and 100m freestyle marks he already threw down earlier in the meet.  Proud roared to the wall in a time of 22.39 to overtake the previous national record of 22.87 held by a trio of athletes. Mark Foster, Anthony Jones and Adam Barrett all held the previous record, but Proud scorched it tonight.

Additionally, Proud led off his Plymouth Leander squad’s 400m freestyle relay with a huge opening 100m freestyle, crushing the 46-second barrier and blasting a new British National Record of 45.97.  46.69 was what Proud logged earlier in the meet to take the Winter Meet title and score a new National Record, so he knocked a clear .72 of a second off of that fresh new mark to further establish himself as the next big sprinter to come out of GBR.

London Aquatics’ Aimee Willmott collected her 5th total medal from this meet, winning the women’s 400m IM in a time of 4:28.26. As the only sub-4:30 swimmer of the event, Willmott scored the 3rd best time of her career.

Of her performance tonight, Willmott commented, “I’m happy with that. I would have liked to have gone a bit quicker and got a little closer to my PB but given the short turn around we had today between the heats and finals, I am pleased with a season’s best. It’s good to replicate this race when you’re tired. I maybe went a little easier this morning than I should have but I wanted to make sure I had enough reserves for tonight. I’m still learning about competing on the world stage. It’s a big step, as I learned this past summer, but I have a big advantage training in the Olympic pool which is a daily reminder of why I am working so hard right now!”

Edinburgh’s Calum Tait cleaned up the men’s 200m breaststroke event, registering a time of 2;05.42 for the gold. The outing marks Tait’s career-best by over 2 seconds, blasting away his old personal best time of 2:07.88 from 2013. Gauging just the magnitude of such a terrific feat, Tait said after the race, “I’m really chuffed with a two second PB. Breaststroke is moving on so fast that if you want to stay anywhere near the top you have to keep posting big PB’s. That race was a step in the right direction heading into the long course season. Physically, I sometimes struggle against the bigger guys so tactically for me every dive and turn counts.”

A tightly contested race ensued in both the women’s and men’s versions of the 200m freestyle in Ponds Forge tonight, as the gold and silver in each race was decided by less than half a second collectively. For the women, Loughborough’s Sophie Smith clocked a time of 1:56.03 to just out-touch Bath’s Anne Bochmann by .08 of a second.  Bochmann was actually ahead of Smith through the 150m turn, but couldn’t keep pace with Smith’s final 50m and settled for silver in 1:56.11.

On the men’s side, a battle broke out between Adam Barrett and Nicholas Grainger from start to finish.  Barrett led the entire way, but Grainger was never more than half a second behind and gave Barrett quite a challenge on that final 50m. Results include a season-best 1:43.72 for Barrett and in a personal best of 1:43.99.


Additional Winners:

  • Lizzie Simmonds doubled up on her 100m backstroke gold by winning the 200m event as well.  2:00.91 got the job done tonight for Simmonds in the event.
  • With Proud opting out of the final, the men’s 50m butterfly was decided by the smallest of margins.  Just .01 of a second separated the gold and silver, with Liam Selby clocking a 23.56 over Sheffield’s Braxston Timmin his mark of 23.57.
  • Anna Hopkin took the women’s 50m freestyle in a time of 24.44.
  • The Men’s 400m freestyle relay saw Loughborough take the tile in 3:11.50, while the Sheffield women took the 800m freestyle relay gold in a mark of 7:53.70.


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Proud also lead off the Plymouth 4×100 team in a HUGE British record of 45.97s. Fastest in the world. Big for the medley relay.


I noticed that on the results too. Amazing performance. Now the world number one in short course meters ahead of Orsi!


Proud’a 22.39 was fly, not freestyle…


Ben proud,s recent improvements will be a huge boost to Britain’s medley relay. we all know chris walker hebborn (backstroke), Adam peaty (breaststroke) and Adam Barrett (butterfly) can go ballistic in their respective strokes. The weakest link had been Ben proud on freestyle. Let’s see what he can do in long course.

About Loretta Race

Loretta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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