Gold Medal Favorite Ben Proud DQs in 50 Fly Prelims on Gold Coast


Team England swimmer Ben Proud is renowned for having one of the world’s best starts. In Thursday’s prelims, in his first swim of the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Proud’s start may have been a little too good – he was called for a false start, a rare occurrence at this level of sport.

Proud’s start, which was shown in this photo by BBC broadcaster Nick Hope, looked electric to the naked eye, but officials called it a little too good, saying that his leg moved before the starting signal.

Proud later appealed the decision to an independent panel, but they did not overturn the decision

“I am in the shape of my life and am gutted to miss out on the opportunity to show what I can do,” Proud said.

“Coming into the competition there is always apprehension ahead of the first race,” he said. “With fans in the crowd, I wanted to give them something to cheer about by delivering a fast time.

Many of Proud’s competitors echoed his disappointment after the race, with Australian coach Jacco Verhaeren saying that the race wouldn’t be the same without him, and with new top seed Chad le Clos saying he “would prefer to have Ben in the race and come second to someone competitive with me.”

Proud’s recorded reaction time did not show on the official results. Under relatively-recent results, because his false start didn’t appear to impact other swimmers, the heat was not recalled and the false start was assessed at the end of the race. Proud was the top seed coming in by almost a full second and a near-lock for gold (22.75, Dylan Carter seeded 2nd in 23.73), and would’ve had the fastest time in prelims were it not for the DQ.

In his absence, South African Chad le Clos qualified 1st through to the semi-finals in 23.53 followed by Carter in 23.62. Aside from Proud, not contenders were eliminated in the prelims.

Proud is the defending Commonwealth Games champion in both the 50 fly and 50 free, as well as the defending World Champion in the 50 fly.

Updated with appeal information. 

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3 years ago

Really heartbreaking. He waited 4 years for this meet and got DQ.

E Gamble
Reply to  Buona
3 years ago

And he only has one more individual swim… 50 free. ?

Reply to  E Gamble
3 years ago

Yes. So sad. He could have won 2 golds.

Reply to  Buona
3 years ago

He’ll either be broken or motivated, and right now let’s hope for the latter. He might drop a BIG time, maybe 21.25 to shake up pan pacs swimmers

3 years ago

Multiple dolphin kicks…

Reply to  Onehandtouch
3 years ago

One would hope a swimmer takes multiple kicks on a butterfly race.

3 years ago

It was a heat swim where he was the fastest by a second, why take the risk?

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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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