Proud leads clean sweep of qualifiers

26 Jul 2019

Ben Proud was in impressive form this morning as all seven Brits in action made safe passage into the next round at the World Aquatics Championships.

There were no fewer than 14 heats of the Men’s 50m Freestyle, 2017 World Championship bronze medallist Proud making light work of progressing. With the race getting underway at the second time of asking, Proud started well to lead after 15 metres and he never looked back, powering home to stop the clock in 21.69 and qualify second fastest overall.

Of his effort, Proud said:

“That was a very solid heat swim. I’ve swam faster before but I think given the preparation and the circumstances this morning it was a very good swim to get me through the round. That’s cleared my head and any worries I had, so I think tonight I’ll be able to come in and put in a half decent performance and then tomorrow night just see what my body can offer.”

After showing his best form of the season at these championships, judging his peak to perfection, James Guy was back in the water for the opening round of the Men’s 100m Butterfly and will be back for a second swim in the semi-finals tonight.

Guy asserted his authority on his race, leading at the turn, and despite just missing out on the touch he qualified with ease for tonight’s semi-finals. Afterwards the National Centre Bath swimmer said:

“I knew that I was up there, with the Aussie next to me and the guys in the middle, but I knew I was up at the top. You’ve just got to do the job, get a lane for tonight and make sure I’ve got enough energy for the 100 fly semis and the 4x200 tonight, so nothing too hard this morning.”

Jess Fullalove was back in action in the Women’s 200m Breaststroke heats, drawn in lane seven in heat three of five. Swimming a positive race, Fullalove was in the mix all the way, eventually just squeezed out of the top three spots in the closing metres. Finishing fourth in 2.11.08, the backstroker surmised:

“I just wanted to bounce back from the 100 really, as I was really disappointed with that, but I think that was a good, solid swim. I’d have liked to have gone 2.10 this morning and I wasn’t far off with 2.11.0! I wasn’t aware of anyone around me, so you’ve just got to stick to your own race plan. Fingers crossed it’s enough.”

Thankfully it was, as Fullalove squeezed into the semi-final, taking the 16th and final spot. She’ll now hope to move it on this evening and get close to her season’s best.

Rounding out the morning session was the Men’s 4x200m Freestyle, with a team comprising of Tom Dean, Callum Jarvis, Max Litchfield and Cameron Kurle flying the flag for Great Britain. Dean got the team off to a good start, before Jarvis produced the fastest split of the quartet to hand over third and within half a second of the leaders.

Like Jarvis, Litchfield was in action for the first time this championships as was Cameron Kurle who did a great job on anchor to bring the team home third in 7.08.45. After completion of the three heats the team’s time ranked them seventh, seeing them safely into tonight’s final.

Of their performance Dean said:

“That’s my first time leading off this relay, so it was good to go out there with an open field and we just did our job.”

National Centre Bath man, Callum Jarvis, added:

“I’m pleased with that. I did what I needed to do with my split and I knew there would be a few people around me, so it was just get in and try and get in front of them.”

Max Litchfield continued:

“It’s been a long week so to get in with these boys there, and hopefully have done enough to get through to the final, it’s a good start.”

Swimming the final leg, Kurle concluded:

“It was nice to race, as I’ve just been waiting around, so it’s nice to get in the water. I’m pleased with how I executed my race plan – I didn’t worry about anyone else, I just went out there and raced.”

The action resumes at 20.00 (12.00 UK time) this evening, with Freya Anderson, Luke Greenbank and Molly Renshaw all in final action. You can catch the racing live on FINA TV

Full results from the FINA World Aquatics Championships can be found here.

Highlights will be shown on the BBC Two as follows:

15.45 – 17.15: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday
15:00 – 16:00: Saturday
15.30 – 17.00: Sunday
*highlights will also be available on the red button at select times.