Ben Proud Scratches 50 Fly on Thursday at Short Course Worlds


  • Tuesday, December 11th- Sunday, December 16th
  • Hangzhou, China
  • Tennis Centre, Hangzhou Olympic & International Expo Center
  • SCM (25m)
  • Prelims: 9:30 am local, 8:30 pm ET / Finals: 7:00 pm* local, 6:00* am ET
  • *The final night of finals will be one hour earlier, starting at 6:00 pm local and 5:00 am ET
  • Live Results (Omega)

British sprint star Ben Proud is putting all of his eggs in the basket of the men’s 50 free at the 2018 FINA World Short Course Swimming Championships. The release of the start lists for Friday’s preliminary session has an empty lane for Proud’s 3rd-seed in the 50 fly – one of only two events he’s entered in at the meet.

Proud is the 9th-fastest performer in history in the 50 fly in short course, and 7th-fastest in long course. He’s the defending World Champion and European Champion in the event in long course, though he was disqualified via false start at the Commonwealth Games earlier this year. In short course, he has a 50 fly bronze from 2017 on his resume.

Editor’s Note: FINA didn’t reseed the 50 fly after Proud’s scratch, leaving lane 4 in his heat empty, which is unusual at a meet of this caliber.

With the scratch, his full focus will fall on to the 50 free, which will take place in Friday night’s final. He’s the 2nd seed in that final after swimming a 20.71 to win the first heat on Wednesday evening, which was two-tenths slower than American Caeleb Dressel. Proud is the faster of the two in long course, both in 2018 and in their careers, and is the fastest long course 50 freestyler ever in a textile suit.

With no British relays this week, that means Proud’s only event in Hangzhou will be the 50 free.

Other Noteworthy Scratches:

  • Russia’s Maria Kameneva scratched out of the women’s 50 back, where she was the 11th seed. Among high seeds, Russians have been the greatest perpetrators of scratches this week.
  • The Polish men have scratched another relay – this time the 200 free relay.
  • After stopping before taking a stroke in the 100 fly preliminaries, Italy’s Matteo Rivolta is entered in the 50 fly still.
  • Dutch swimmer Femke Heemskerk has scratched out of the 400 free, where she was the 8th seed. She took a silver medal in the 200 free earlier in the meet in 1:52.36 – which was about 7-tenths short of her best time. It would likely have taken a 1+second lifetime best in the 400 free to even have a chance at medalling on Friday (her best time of 4:00.03 is from October).

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Must be tired from the two 50s he already swam

Ol' Longhorn

University finals just completed.


I don’t think he likes to do turns!


he’s a 50 free specialist…


Not necessarily he is the world champion in the long course 50 fly. He’s a sprinter that doesn’t like turns but will put up with the SCM 50 free.

mike in dallas

After a defeat by Dressel in the upcoming 50 free, the press is not going to be good for Proud;


I think Dressel has the edge right now, but I’m not counting out anyone who can go a 21.1 50 free.


That’s right any of these guys could be 20.6 and I wouldn’t be surprised. 20.6 is not what it will take to win but there is some sick speed in this final.

E Gamble

Dressel has already been 20.4. Its gonna take below 20.3 to win. I don’t think he’ll be slower. I’m predicting a WR.


Well you can’t be that gung ho about Dressel after he lost to Chad. I would pick Proud at this point he is not doing all these crazy relays so he’s gotta have huge psych job going for this one race. edit Same with Vlad can see him in the mix and who gets their hand on wall wins it.


Can’t compare the two races one has 3 open turns the other has 1 flip turn. He missed his walls against chad no excuse. But if he hits it in the 50 there is no doubt in my mind that he wins.

Randall Fara

Who cares? He’s doing what he feels is best for his career. If he fails, then he fails, but that doesn’t make him a loser — it would just show the greatness of Dressel.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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