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Ben so Proud to represent Team England

He’s a defending Commonwealth Games champion who is not only proud by name but also fiercely proud to be representing Team England once again.

Plymouth’s Ben Proud stormed to victory in the 50m freestyle and 50m butterfly events at Glasgow 2014 and is aiming to retain his titles on Australia’s Gold Coast.

The 23-year-old is one of the most experienced members of the squad but insists he will still be learning when he competes Down Under.

Ben Proud
  • DOB: 21/09/1994
  • Club: Plymouth Leander
  • Coach: James Gibson
  • CWG: Won 50m Butterfly and 50m Freestyle gold, as well as 4x100m Free Relay bronze on debut at Glasgow 2014

“Obviously, I’m going back and trying to retain my two titles,” said Proud, who comes into the event as reigning world champion for 50m Fly.

“It will be a new experience, something I have not done at all in my career, but it will be good for me to go there and to learn from that experience as well.

“I have done everything I can up to this point to get myself best prepared as I can. I’m feeling ready – it’s just the final preparations

“I’m feeling confident. The Commonwealths are definitely going to be a good experience to get a good race strategy underway and get my performance as best as possible.”

Proud’s sense of pride

As well as 50m Fly gold, Proud won 50m Free bronze at the World Championships in Budapest last year.

He also competed in the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016 but says the Commonwealth Games is one of the most prestigious events on the international calendar.

“It’s one of the few multi games event we actually do,” said Proud, who set a national record of 22.75 seconds when he won the 50m butterfly title in Budapest.

“It’s great to be part of and actually represent England and not just Great Britain.

“Because it’s such a rare occasion to represent England as a country, there’s more of a sense of pride in that because it’s so unheard of.

“Four years ago, I was fresh on the team and everyone’s evolved as a team.

“We are getting a lot more younger people this year and that’s the great thing about the Commonwealth Games as the young guys who are trying to transition into the senior teams have that option to come out and race the best guys in the world.

“For them it’s a big learning experience and for us, the ones who were there four years ago, it’s our duty to help them and show them the ropes.”

Proud is hoping Australia will not be his last taste of Commonwealth Games action.

He said: “With the Commonwealth Games coming to Birmingham in four years’ time, it’s making me think about Commonwealths in a whole different way.

“I would like to be there in four years time still doing my best but it’s doing it step by step.”