8168470-largePLYMOUTH swimming sensation Ben Proud returned with a three-medal haul and a new short course record from the British Colleges and Universities Sport (BUCS) Championships in Sheffield.

The Commonwealth Games double gold medallist also topped the podium twice at Pond’s Forge, while winning a silver medal and setting a new personal best.

Proud, swimming for the University of St Mark and St John set his new standard in winning the men’s open 50 metres freestyle in 21.62 seconds.

The 20-year-old Great Britain and England international also won the men’s open 100m final, overtaking Manchester Metropolitan’s Liam Selby in the final 50m to win in a time of 46:68secs.
British record holder Proud finished runner-up to Loughborough University’s Adam Barrett in the men’s open 50m butterfly final. Barrett won in 23:41secs just ahead of Plymouth Leander’s Proud, who finished the race in a blinding 23:52secs

Proud and Barrett will team up again at the start of next month as part of the GB squad for the World Championships in Doha.

The élite sports scholar will be joined on the flight by his city team-mates, Olympic gold medallist and world champion Ruta Meilutyte and also newcomer to the Leander line-up Mindaugas Sadauskas.

Twenty-four year old sprint specialist Sadauska, who moved to the club is, like Meilutyte, he is a Lithuanian international, and a sprint freestyle specialist.

Even the ever-modest Proud could not disguise his delight at his successful weekend at the BUCS champs, particularly as they were achieved in the more unfamiliar short-course format.

Proud told Herald Sport: “I could not be more pleased with how things went – it went better than I had hoped for ahead of the champs, to be honest.

“To win two golds and finish as a runner-up in a short-course format where the winner was more experienced, obviously, gives me a lot of pleasure.

“The competition at this year’s BUCS Championships was really top quality, almost like competing at the British Championships, to be honest, so to do as well as I have was great.

“As in the recent World Cup competitions in Tokyo and Singapore, the purpose was for me at the BUCS was naturally do well and also to gain more experience over short course.

“And now I’ve finally got my 50-free short-course PB faster than my long course – and a BUCS record, too. ”

Proud, who is studying a foundation degree in Sport Development (Coaching) at St Mark and St John, is now preparing himself for two weeks of beasting in training from acclaimed Leander coach Jon Rudd at Plymouth’s Life Centre, ahead of the world championships in December on December 3.

“Yes, it’s back to training with the rest of the guys, it’s tough but I don’t mind,” added Proud.

“It’s all for my own good and should prepare me nicely for the world champs.”

Article courtesy of the Plymouth Herald. See the full article here