So happy for Ben – he’s been training really hard and I knew he had this in him.
Article courtesy of Plymouth Herald:
BEN PROUD returns to Plymouth on Wednesday with two individual Commonwealth Games gold medals in his bag and a relay bronze. The 19-year-old University of St Mark and St John student won his second gold in Glasgow on Tuesday night when he triumphed in the men’s 50m freestyle race. Earlier in the Games the Plymouth Leander swimmer had claimed victory in the 50m butterfly and anchored England to bronze in the 4x100m freestyle relay.
Proud, who also claimed two Commonwealth Games records in Scotland, described his treble medal haul as ‘amazing’ but he has no intention of resting on his laurels. He will be back in the Life Centre pool on Thursday preparing for next month’s European Championships in Berlin. “I’m probably going to have a day off and then get back into training,” said Proud, who was flying home to Plymouth today. “I enjoy swimming. I’m still at my peak right now so I might as well keep on for a couple more weeks and then have a little bit of a summer.”
Proud was stunned by his success in Glasgow. He admitted he would have been satisfied just reaching finals in his first major multi-sport games. “It was amazing,” he said. “I just wanted to gain some experience and race against some great swimmers. “That’s what I was looking forward to. I was just looking to get to the final and see from there. “But it’s great to come away with another gold.”
Proud won Tuesday night’s 50m freestyle race in 21.92 seconds, with Australians Cameron McEvoy and James Magnussen second and third in 22.00 and 22.10 respectively. The Leander star had swum 21.76 in the semi-finals, but he was just glad to win Tuesday’s final, in which he was the youngest competitor. “I felt if I could do it then it would be a great achievement for England,” he said. “But I was just trying to keep my cool in there and just get the race finished. “In finals you are always going to be tensing. I did try to keep my cool, but finals are always going to get to you. “But I think I managed to keep my cool quite well. I’ve learned from the past that when I get too nervous I can’t think what I’ve got to do. “In finals it is just about getting every single detail right and everyone who I have worked with has helped me do that.”
Proud praised his Plymouth-based coach Jon Rudd, his strengthen and conditioning coach Paris Payne, Plymouth College and the University of St Mark and St John in his press conference after Tuesday night’s success. “This is my third year with Jon (Rudd),” he said. “I started at Plymouth College, then I’ve moved on to the University of St Mark and St John this year and they’ve helped me really well. “Jon’s a great icon for me. He keeps me stuck on the same route – in the direction I need to be. “He and Paris (Payne), my new strength and conditioning coach, have done really well for me. They have supported me so much and got everything right. “Jon was just as happy as I was. It’s not just a gold for me, it’s a gold for him, my university and Paris as well. I think we are all just as happy as each other.”
Proud says he has been inspired by his Leander team-mate Ruta Meilutyte. Meilutyte won gold at the 2012 Olympics as a 15-year-old before adding a World Championship title last year and claiming three world records. “I train so much with her and she is a great person to be around and train with,” said Proud. “I think seeing her win gold two years ago brought out a whole new club in Plymouth and it’s just great to train there.”
Proud will now be looking for success competing for Great Britain at the European Championships, which start on August 18 for pool swimmers. “That (Euros) will be a different type of competition,” said Proud. “Not many of the people here (in Glasgow) will be there – it will be a whole new field.”