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

2018 SETTE COLLI TROPHY

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
3 years ago

Hehe Dressel better👀👀👀👀

Lukes
Reply to  WV Swimmer
3 years ago

Dressed was tapered

Just Sayin
Reply to  Lukes
3 years ago

I’m fairly certain proud is tapered.

CRB
Reply to  Just Sayin
3 years ago

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

Snarky
Reply to  CRB
3 years ago

He’s a 50 guy. Hes always rested.

Swack
Reply to  Snarky
3 years ago

Amen!

Mikeh
Reply to  CRB
3 years ago

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.

Dee
Reply to  Just Sayin
3 years ago

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.

Liam
Reply to  Just Sayin
3 years ago

Are you joking?????

WV Swimmer
Reply to  WV Swimmer
3 years ago

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

SeanSwims
3 years ago
snarky
Reply to  SeanSwims
3 years ago

Nice find. He eased into the finish too.

Ol' Longhorn
3 years ago

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

Brody
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
3 years ago

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
Reply to  Brody
3 years ago

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

Togger
Reply to  Brody
3 years ago

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.

marklewis
3 years ago

Proud is the last to come down to the start position. What advantage does that give him? A faster reaction time because he’s stationary the least amount of time?

His tremendous start that gave him a lot of momentum. Fratus is next to him and gets left behind.

Tim
Reply to  marklewis
3 years ago

Great swim. To answer your point I think coming down at the last split second is unfair to the guys either side of him and as you mentioned potentially advantageous to reaction time. He never really stops moving so for me it shouldn’t be legal (I know he is moving down and back so technically it is okay)

samuel huntington
Reply to  Tim
3 years ago

he clearly came to a stop in my opinion. and how is it unfair? his competitors are free to do this also and choose not to.

sven
Reply to  Tim
3 years ago

He does stop moving. He comes down immediately when “take your mark” is said, stops moving, and goes when the buzzer sounds. That’s all perfectly within the rules.

Not sitting for too long with a bunch of stretch on the hamstrings like the other guys might help, but I doubt it. The other guys are all already leaning over, sure, but they’re relaxed so it’s not as though they’re sitting tense for 5 seconds (with the exception of lane 3… I can’t see any major difference in his stance before and after “take your mark.” With every other competitor it’s clear that they aren’t tensed until then).

The biggest difference I see is that, when BP takes his mark, his… Read more »

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  marklewis
3 years ago

Didn’t he get DQd recently for a flinch?

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
3 years ago

50 fly Commonwealth Games 22.84 — DQd for a flinch.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  marklewis
3 years ago

Biggest think is how flat his back is, scaps retracted, but in air. As if he’s doing a major lift.

tea rex
Reply to  marklewis
3 years ago

I think Proud comes down at the same time, it just takes longer because he’s standing upright until “Take your marks”

Togger
3 years ago

We still own the Pitcairns.

Get Proud to Tokyo, I do not want to wait until 2019 for this head to head.

Brock the Breastsroker
3 years ago

This dude just keeps getting bigger

Togger
Reply to  Brock the Breastsroker
3 years ago

I remember an interview a few years back where Becky Adlington asked whether he thought he needed to bulk up to compete for global medals.

At the time he got quite defensive and disagreed. Clearly changed his mind!

Philip
Reply to  Togger
3 years ago

He became friends with Peaty..

Dee
Reply to  Philip
3 years ago

He met James Gibson – Energy Standard head coach. Govorov’s arms and shoulders have got a lot bigger in the last few years too… He was always far too slight for a 50 flyer imo though.

Togger
Reply to  Dee
3 years ago

I remember Gibson doing a swim clinic for us way back in 2002.

At a time when plenty of elite sprinters (eg. Popov, Van den Hoogenband) were still quite lean, he was built like a brick ****house. I thought he looked like Superman!

Skoorbnagol
3 years ago

And this is why dressel shouldn’t swim 50free in toyko.
100/200free, 100fly, 200im and 4 relays and win them all. He’s not beating proud on day 7 after swimming all them events, not even he goes 16.5 in yards.

Bon Jovi
Reply to  Skoorbnagol
3 years ago

dressel dropped over half a second in yards this past year in the 50. if that translates to meters over this year he’s had, he will crush the world record

marklewis
Reply to  Skoorbnagol
3 years ago

Valid point. It’s like Phelps and the 100 fly. He was running on fumes by the time the 100 fly came around. In 2016, Schooling stayed rested and won the gold medal.

swimmerswammer
Reply to  marklewis
3 years ago

That’s 2016 Phelps. Dressel wants to be 2008 Phelps, who swam the 100 fly against a red hot Cavic and ran him down

Skoorbnagol
Reply to  Skoorbnagol
3 years ago

Just facts
Day 6:
200IM final
100fly semi
50free semi
(Plus heats)

Day 7:
100fly and 50free
Where are they going to put the mixed relay? Day 7 has it written all over it.

2028 Dressl and 50free, wasted talent if he doesn’t swim 200free and 200IM ( providing he doesn’t get beat) but Florida is 200IM and 200free.
Yang v dressel?
Chase v dressel ?
I’d back dressel.
50free after against a fresh proud ? British swimming targets medal and medals mean money and funding.
I read somewhere once that if Lochte had quailified for 100fly in 2012 they would of dropped 200bk, Troy won’t… Read more »

nuotofan
Reply to  Skoorbnagol
3 years ago

There’s already a GOAT in swimming: first WR before 16 and first gold at Worlds at 16, a show at Worlds at 18, six Olympic golds (8 Olympic medal) at 19, another impressive show at Worlds at 21 and the legend made at Olympics at 23.
And then other two Olympics for an amount of golds who probably will remain unmatched in the sport history even with the introduction of new distances.
Dressel the new GOAT? Perhaps in 2032.., a long, long path ahead of him.

Philip
Reply to  Skoorbnagol
3 years ago

I don’t know, Dressel has proven he can swim a heavy schedule. Remember his triple ( 21.15, 49.86, 47.22).

Togger
Reply to  Philip
3 years ago

And this is at the end of it.

Yes, it’s a brutal schedule, the 50 is often an event for specialists and Dressel could lose to Proud (or someone else).

But it doesn’t hinder his other events to try it and Dressel doesn’t strike me as a swimmer to duck races just because there’s a chance he might not win.

chachabugatti
Reply to  Skoorbnagol
3 years ago

townley would be tough in the 200 even for dressel

Philip
3 years ago

Wow that changes everything, Dressel no longer untouchable in the 50 free. Let’s see how Dressel responds. Anyways, phenomenal swim!

Caeleb Dressel Will Win 9 Gold Medals in Tokyo
Reply to  Philip
3 years ago

Did you so quickly forget that 17.63?

Michael Schwartz

Did you so quickly forget that yards and meters are different? Dressel is the greatest yards swimmer in history because of his raw speed and underwaters. Meters is a different animal. Not saying that he can’t swim meters (he obviously can) and not saying that proud doesn’t have underwaters (he clearly does), but hands down yards or any type of short course race I would give the nod to dressel for his explosive underwaters on the turn compared to proud. After seeing this, you take away the wall and I’ll flip a coin between the two. Think about it this way, a supersuited Cielo could only muster an 18.41 SCY where as dressel went 17.63. That same supersuited Cielo went… Read more »

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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