Ben Proud Becomes 4th Fastest Performer Ever With 21.16 50 Free


On the opening day of the 2018 Sette Colli Trophy in Rome, several national records fell by the wayside, but none were bigger than Great Britain’s Ben Proud swimming one of the fastest 50 freestyles in history.

Proud, who won the Commonwealth Games gold medal in April in 21.30, which was a new British Record and the fastest time in the world this year, dropped a scintillating 21.16 in Rome. He not only breaks his own British Record, but also blows past Ashley Callus‘ suited Commonwealth Record from 2009 of 21.19, and becomes the 4th fastest performer in history.

He now only trails world record holder Cesar Cielo and France’s Frederick Bousquet, who both went sub-21 with the super-suits, and Caeleb Dressel, who swam the fastest textile time ever last summer to win the World Championship crown in 21.15. Proud is now just .01 off that elusive mark.

Fastest Performers Ever
1 Cesar Cielo 20.91
2 Fred Bousqet 20.94
3 Caeleb Dressel 21.15
4 Ben Proud 21.16
5 Ashley Callus 21.19
5 Florent Manaudou 21.19
7 George Bovell 21.20
8 Alain Bernard 21.23
9 Amaury Leveaux 21.25
10 Bruno Fratus 21.27

The swim was also the 7th fastest performance in history:

Fastest Performances Ever
1 Cesar Cielo 20.91
2 Fred Bousqet 20.94
3 Cesar Cielo 21.02
4 Cesar Cielo 21.08
5 Cesar Cielo 21.14
6 Caeleb Dressel 21.15
7 Ben Proud 21.16
8 Fred Bousqet 21.17
9 Ashley Callus 21.19
10 Florent Manaudou 21.19

Proud was disqualified in the prelims of the 50 fly at the Commonwealth Games, the event in which he is the reigning world champion, so the world record in that event will be on watch later in the meet. He’s been 22.96 this season, but holds a best of 22.75, with the world record standing at 22.43.

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WV Swimmer

Hehe Dressel better👀👀👀👀


Dressed was tapered

Just Sayin

I’m fairly certain proud is tapered.


Why would he taper for an in-season meet with the European Championships in 1 month?


He’s a 50 guy. Hes always rested.




He’s tapered. A 21.1 is impossible otherwise. He simply sprint trains most of the time. The benefit is he is usually ready to go fast. the drawback is he won’t get much faster at the big meet, and runs the risk of missing the very small window for his taper. It happened to the Campbell sisters too.


While petty, I’d concur with ‘WV Swimmer’ stating Dressel is better, but Proud is absolutely not tapered. He has a home European Championships in a month – Just why would he taper now? Makes zero sense.


Are you joking?????

WV Swimmer

I literally make this statement trying to be funny as to the fact he missed Dressel’s Mark by 0.01. Both remarkable, all-time swims, hope to see both frack 20.xx as the season closes


Nice find. He eased into the finish too.

Ol' Longhorn

Only person in the world to match Dressel’s start at 15 meters.


Honestly I kinda disagree. Dressel is still unmatched based on pure speed. Proud’s swimming is completely different from Dressels in that Proud is all power. Don’t get me wrong Proud definitely has speed, but nothing compared to Dressel. Proud is a huge guy and I don’t think it can be argued a lot stronger than Dressel. Proud has the power and the strength, but Dressel has the speed and the technique. It will definitely be fun to watch them battle it out for years to come.

Ol' Longhorn

I’m talking from the block to 15 meters. There’s no swimming involved.


Surely “pure speed” is just how fast you get from one end of the pool to the other? In which Proud and Dressel are evidently very close to each other.

You might do it very different ways (eg. PVDH vs Schoemann in 04), but the end result, swimming a certain velocity for a set distance, is speed.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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