PLYMOUTH Leander swimmer Ben Proud is the new World swimming 50 metre butterfly champion thanks to a terrific performance at the World championships in Budapest, Hungary.
The Devon swimmer who is currently training in Turkey got the perfect start to touch home in a new British Record time of 22.75 seconds. Silver went to Nicholas Santos of Brazil in 22.79 and bronze to Andrii Govorov of the Ukraine in 22.84.
‘After last night I might not have looked in pole position but deep down I knew that if I got the start right I was in the mix for a medal,’ said Proud.
Ben added: ‘The past 24 hours have really just been about a mental battle. I needed to get my head in the right place so I can go into this race and not even think about medals. It was all about that first 15 metres and after I nailed that start I just let my body takeover and I switched my mind off.
‘It took me a while to realise I’d won, I was shocked at first but it’s a dream come true. At first I was waiting for someone else to start celebrating but it didn’t happen and then I saw my name.
I’ve dreamt of this since I started swimming and to be honest it is the reason I started swimming and the reason I moved to the UK. For it to happen today is a dream come true.’