Ben Proud

Benjamin Proud (born 21 September 1994) is a British competitive swimmer, representing Great Britain at the Olympic Games, the FINA World Aquatics Championships and LEN European Aquatics Championships, and England at the Commonwealth Games. Proud specialises in sprint freestyle and butterfly races.[1] He is the 2017 world champion in the 50 metre butterfly.[2]

Ben Proud
Personal information
Full nameBenjamin Proud
National team Great Britain
Born (1994-09-21) 21 September 1994
London, England
Height1.91 m (6 ft 3 in)
Weight92 kg (203 lb)
StrokesFreestyle, butterfly
ClubPlymouth Leander Swimming
CoachJames Gibson 2016-present
Jon Rudd To 2016

Proud holds two British national records, as well as being a Commonwealth Games champion in the 50 m butterfly (2014) and 50 m freestyle (2014 and 2018) events. He was the fastest 18-year-old in the world who competes in the 50 m butterfly and represented Great Britain in the 50 m freestyle at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio and both the 50 m freestyle and the 50 m butterfly at the 2017 World Aquatics Championships.[3]

Early life and education

Proud was born in London on 21 September 1994 to Nic and Sally Proud.[4] The family moved to Malaysia when he was five months old, and he grew up in Damansara, Kuala Lumpur.[5] He has a brother, Oliver. He attended the Alice Smith School from kindergarten until year 12 of the school.[6] At Alice Smith, he competed for the school and was trained by Francis Kiu, a professional Malaysian swimmer.[7][8] He swam for the school swimming team, KLASS Torpedoes, representing them at many international swim meets.[9] He swam at the Malaysian Open, winning the 50 m butterfly and placing second in the 50 m freestyle. His many swim meets across Southeast Asia included the Flying Fish meet in Phuket, Thailand.

In 2011, when he was 16, he returned to England to pursue swimming as a career, and joined Plymouth College as a swimming scholar. After finishing school, he attended University of St Mark & St John where he studied for a Sports Development & Coaching degree.[5][10] Proud was coached by Jon Rudd at the Plymouth Leander Swimming Programme in England, before he moved to train at the Energy Standard International Swim Club in Turkey in 2017.[11][12]

Swimming career

Proud won a silver medal in the 50 m butterfly -his strongest event- in the European Junior Championships, which put him on the map as the fastest British sprinter at the British Gas International Meet in 2013, winning a gold in the butterfly, and going on later to win a silver in the 50 m freestyle in Leeds. After his initial victories, he rose through the ranks and broke the decade-long 50 m butterfly standing record twice, in the semis and final, giving him his first British Gas Swimming Championship title at the age of 19.

He went on the break his personal best times for the 50 m and 100 m freestyle events, earning himself a silver and bronze, as well as a spot on the British team for the 2013 World Championships being held in Barcelona. Unsurprisingly, Proud did incredibly, finishing 18th in the 50 m freestyle, and 11th in the 50 m butterfly.[1] In 2014, still only 19 years old, Proud won his first senior international medals on his Commonwealth debut for England at Glasgow.[13] The following month, Proud won a gold in the 4 × 100 m medley relay and a bronze in the 50 m butterfly for Team GB at his first European Championships.

In the 2016 European Aquatics Championships in London, he won two bronze medals, first in 50m butterfly, then in 50m freestyle.[14][15]

Proud represents Great Britain in the 50 m and 100 m freestyle events at the 2016 Summer Olympics.


At the 2017 World Aquatics Championships, Proud qualified as the fourth fastest swimmer at the 50m butterfly semi-finals, but won a surprise gold at the final with a national record time of 22.75 seconds.[16] He won a further bronze in the 50m freestyle in 21.43 seconds.[17]


At the 2018 Commonwealth Games held at the Gold Coast, Australia, Proud won silver as part of the relay team with David Cumberlidge, Jarvis Parkinson and James Guy that came second in the 4x100m freestyle events.[18] He broke his own Games record in the heats of the 50m freestyle with 21.45 seconds,[19] then 21.30 in the semi-finals and went on to win the final in 21.35.[20] He also won a silver in the 4x100m medley with Adam Peaty, James Guy and Luke Greenbank.[21] He broke his own 50m freestyle British record at the Sette Colli meet in Rome, posting a Commonwealth record of 21.16 in the final to become the 4th fastest performer of all time over the distance. [22]

At the 2018 European Championships in Glasgow, Proud won a silver in the 50 metre butterfly.[23] He then broke the 50 meter freestyle textile world record with 21.11 in the semifinals of the 50 metre freestyle,[24] and won his first gold of the European championships in the final.[25]

Best Times

EventTime (LCM)[1]Time (SCM)[1]
50 Freestyle21:11*20.74*
100 Freestyle48.5245.97*
50 Butterfly22.75*22.39*
100 Butterfly54.8854.11
  • British Record*

See also


  1. "Ben Proud- British Swimming". Skylab. British Swimming & The ASA. Retrieved 8 January 2016.
  2. "Ben Proud". Rio 2016. Archived from the original on 6 August 2016. Retrieved 9 August 2016.
  4. "Benjamin Proud". SwimSwam.
  5. Beren Cross (11 August 2016). "When does Ben Proud race in the Olympic 50m freestyle in Rio?". The Herald.
  6. "Ben Pround - Swimming". Team GB.
  7. Wong, Jonathan (26 July 2017). "Big Ben's proud of his regional links". Straits Times.
  8. Ng, Wei Loon (10 September 2011). "Proud mom Sally". The Star.
  9. "Alumnus Does Alice Smith Proud". British Malaysian Chamber of Commerce. 19 August 2016. Archived from the original on 7 August 2018. Retrieved 27 July 2017.
  10. "Ben Proud". Marjon. Archived from the original on 21 April 2015.
  11. Beren Cross (24 July 2017). "Ben Proud is Plymouth's third world champion in three days in three sports". The Herald.
  12. Beren Cross (3 February 2017). "Olympic finalist Ben Proud set to leave Plymouth". The Herald.
  13. "Proud gives England first swim gold". The Sydney Morning Herald. 26 July 2014.
  14. "GB's Proud wins 50m butterfly bronze". BBC Sport. 17 May 2016.
  15. "Proud claims Euro 50m freestyle bronze". BBC Sport. 22 May 2016.
  16. "Adam Peaty retains world 100m breaststroke title & Ben Proud wins gold". BBC Sport. 14 July 2017.
  17. Hope, Nick (27 July 2017). "World Swimming Championships: Britons Ben Proud and James Guy win bronze".
  18. "English men win relay silver to close second day on Gold Coast". 6 April 2018.
  19. "Plymouth's Ben Proud breaks Games record in heat". ITV. 9 April 2018.
  20. "Commonwealth Games: England's Ben Proud wins 50m freestyle gold". BBC Sport. 10 April 2018.
  21. "Commonwealth Games: Ben Proud claims gold, Caster Semenya breaks record". BBC Sport. 10 April 2018.
  22. "BEN PROUD BECOMES 4TH FASTEST PERFORMER EVER WITH 21.16 50 FREE". SwimSwam. 29 June 2018.
  23. "Ben Proud takes silver in 50m butterfly". Europort. 7 August 2018.
  24. Race, Loretta (8 August 2018). "2018 Euros: Ben Proud Cracks Textile World Record 50 Free (21.11)". Swim Swam.
  25. "Proud wins first European title with 50m freestyle gold". BBC Sport. 9 August 2018.
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