Ben Proud Nails 21.68 FR, Now World No. 3 at Day 4 British Trials Prelims


During the fourth preliminaries session of the 2021 British Swimming Selection Trials, accomplished sprinter Ben Proud put up a blistering 21.68 mid-pandemic effort in the men’s 50 free to easily take the finals top seed and clear the British Olympic qualifying standard of 21.78. Also taking place this morning were the prelims of the women’s 100 free, women’s 200 back, men’s 100 fly, and women’s 200 IM. So far, 19 Brits have clear the nation’s Olympic selection standards after three days of competition.

Day 4 Prelims Highlights

Plymouth’s Proud came in the meet with a 21.48 seed time, which he registered at the Guangzhou stop of the 2020 FINA Champions Series. He then swam the top prelims time in the event at 21.68, just two-tenths off his entry time before tonight’s finals. He was the only swimmer to break 22 seconds in the event, with 16-year-old Jacob Whittle of Derventio taking second at 22.40, three one-hundredths ahead of Wycombe’s Yusuke Legard (22.43). Proud was also the only swimmer to clear Britain’s selection standard of 21.78, which Proud has swum under now 32 times in his career.

Yesterday, Whittle swam the 16-year-old age record at 48.76, which ranks 8th in British history. This morning, Whittle’s 22.40 shaved seven-tenths off his former personal best of 23.11. His swim also broke another age record, taking down Thomas Fannon‘s 2015 record of 22.48 and becoming Britain’s 15th-fastest performer all-time. Whittle would need to drop a mammoth six-tenths of a second from this morning to hit the 50 free Olympic selection standard.

Proud now moves up to No. 3 for the 2020-2021 world rankings, only behind Russian Vlad Morozov‘s national title time of 21.41 and American Ryan Held‘s newly-minted lifetime best of 21.62. The Brit is also ahead of World top-5 swimmers Frenchman Florent Manaudou (21.72) and Brazilian Bruno Fratus (21.73).

2020-2021 LCM Men 50 Free

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Before Proud hit the water, Bath NC’s Freya Anderson and Loughborough’s Anna Hopkin tied for the top women’s 100 free seed at 54.13, both 0.25s off of the 53.88 selection standard and just sneaking into the top 25 times in the world before finals. Getting in for third was Edinburgh’s Lucy Hope (54.52) while teenagers Stirling’s Emma Russell (55.47) and Bromley’s Evelyn Davis (55.64) rounded out the AM top five.

Into the women’s 200 back, Stirling’s Kathleen Dawson took the top seed at 2:12.09 after hitting the Olympic qualifying time in the 100 back earlier in the meet. Dawson’s 200 back lifetime best rests at 2:09.62 from the 2016 British Summer Championships, which is 1.18s off the British time standard of 2:08.44. Only two Brits have ever cleared the standard, Elizabeth Simmonds in 2010 (2:06.79) and Gemma Spofforth‘s 2009 national record of 2:06.66. Stirling teammate Cassie Wild, who also qualified in the 100 back, placed third this morning at 2:13.30 behind 18-year-old Honey Orsin of Plymouth (2:13.05).

After narrowly hitting the qualification standard in the men’s 200 fly, Bath NC’s James Guy did it again this morning in the 100 fly, swimming 51.71 to go under the 51.96 cut. That ties his World No. 16 season best from the Manchester meet from last month. Potentially looking to hit the standard is Bath NC teammate 21-year-old Jacob Peters, who swam 52.17 to place second in prelims, taking down his 52.19 lifetime best on March 15, 2020 at the Edinburgh International Meet.

Leading the women’s 200 IM was Loughborough’s Abbie Wood, hitting the wall at 2:11.20, just a tenth off of the 2:11.10 qualifying cut. At the February Manchester International Meet, Wood became the No. 2 Brit all-time in this event at 2:09.38, which ranks No. 2 in the world this season. Guildford’s Alicia Wilson, who is coming off her junior NCAA season with the Cal Bears, placed second at 2:13.01, a second-and-a-half ahead of Loughborough’s Candice Hall (2:14.56).

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Mr Piano
1 year ago

If proud is back to 2018 form, things are gonna be super intense at the Olympics

Reply to  Mr Piano
1 year ago

He’s looking well in shape and his stroke looks super strong. Excited for the 50 free in Tokyo!

Reply to  FST
1 year ago

‘es looking like a greek god

1 year ago

Proud was wearing all Arena when he swam that. Guessing he’s also free from adidas now

Boring name
Reply to  KimJongSpoon
1 year ago

According to Joe Litchfield they are no longer making suits 👍

He said what?
1 year ago

Trials start in a couple minutes. Looking forward to it!

1 year ago

Some solid times across the board today.

1 year ago

If only he and James Guy could do a decent 100 free…

Reply to  notaswimmer
1 year ago

I wanna see peaty do free

Reply to  Swimmer
1 year ago

He swam a relay leg in ISL.

Reply to  Swimmer
1 year ago

You dont

1 year ago

Glad to see such a good time from Ben in the heats. Hoping he can drop a few tenths for the final.

Reply to  PeatyPiper
1 year ago

Agreed. I feel like he may have been carrying an injury during ISL. Something wasn’t quite right there.

Glad to see him swimming fast again.

About Nick Pecoraro

Nick Pecoraro

Nick Pecoraro started swimming at age 11, instantly becoming drawn to the sport. He was a breaststroker and IMer when competing. After joining SwimSwam, the site has become an outlet for him to research and learn about competitive swimming and experience the sport through a new lenses. He graduated in …

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