British sprinter Ben Proud fought his way to a medal in the fastest final of the World Championship schedule when he powered his way to a bronze in the Men’s 50m Freestyle.
The 50m Butterfly World Champion rose to the occasion once again on day seven in the Duna Arena to fight his way through a tidal wave of sprinters to take Britain’s medal tally to five.
American Caleb Dressel took the gold in 21.15, silver went to Bruno Fratus of Brazil in 21.27, and Proud came home for another podium finish in 21.43.
“To come away with a bronze medal in an Olympic event is in some ways more pleasing than the gold medal in the Fly event,” said Proud (Plymouth Leander). “It means a lot to be able to go back to the team and be part of our great success as an Olympic event medallist.
“To even race in that final is an amazing achievement when you’ve got people going 21.1 and 21.2. This year’s definitely the fastest there’s been in a long time and to get my hand on the wall before a lot of other big guys and big names is a great feeling.”
James Guy, back in after his gold medal winning relay performance last night, brought home Britain’s sixth medal of the championships with a strong performance to take bronze in the Men’s 100m Butterfly – the first time he’s contested the event at the highest international level.
Guy (National Centre Bath) finished joint third with Joseph Schooling of Singapore in a time of 50.83. Gold went to the USA’s Caleb Dressel in 49.86 and Hungary’s Kristof Milak took silver in 50.62.
“I was on such a high last night, I couldn’t really sleep because I was so excited, it was kind of hard to come back down and relax,” said Guy. “But a bronze medal is great, it’s the first time I’ve raced this event at an international championships so I’m pretty happy.
“I knew coming into tonight I was a bit tired, I could feel it in my legs a little bit. I knew it was about going out controlled and bringing it back as fast as I could. I wasn’t happy with the finish but I’ll take the bronze.”
Holly Hibbott (Stockport Metro) marked her World Championship debut with a well-earned place in the Women’s 800m Freestyle. She eventually finished eighth in a final led home by Olympic Champion Katie Ledecky of the USA.
“I would’ve loved to have gone faster than I did in the heat but it is what it is and I’m still pleased with making the final at my first World Championships,”
“Yesterday I went a best time and I’m really glad that I got the experience to race a final. Ledecky is unbelievable and to be among the eight fastest girls in the world is really, really good for my future.”
Sarah Vasey (National Centre Loughborough), on her first British team, booked her second final of the World Championships when she qualified sixth fastest for tomorrow’s Women’s 50m Breaststroke.
“It was a bit scary watching that second semi-final as I was a bit slower than I wanted to go but I’m just stoked to make a final again,” said Vasey.
“It was a faster swim than the heats this morning but still a bit off my best so I’ll be looking to improve tomorrow. I know there’s room for improvement.”
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