Gold for Proud and Walker-Hebborn in Glasgow

25th July 2014

English swimmers secured six medals on the second day of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games with Ben Proud and Chris Walker-Hebborn both winning gold.

Proud took England’s first gold medal in the pool with a great swim in the 50m Butterfly.

In the first race of the evening the 19-year old touched in 22.93 to take the title and set a new British record. Proud said: “I’m still waiting for it to sink in but to be able to say I’m the Commonwealth Champion in the 50m Fly is amazing.

“It was more about the race this time so I wasn’t really focusing on the time, but I knew I had the whole of the team behind me which really helped.”

Adam Barrett was just outside the PB he set in qualifying to finish fourth in 23.43.

Walker-Hebborn secured England’s second gold of the night with a personal best 53.12 in the 100m Backstroke. He said: “It’s been a long time coming and I’m just glad I could do it on the day this time. I’m happy with the PB but the win is what I wanted, so to come away with a world contending time as well, I’m over the moon.”

Liam Tancock swam a season’s best to touch joint third with Australia’s Josh Beaver to take the bronze in 53.75.

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor secured her third silver medal in two days, swimming a 57.45 lifetime best in the 100m Butterfly. In a tight race the 18-year old touched 0.05 seconds behind Canada’s Katerine Savard to take second.

O’Connor said: “Three medals at this point is great. I knew this evening was going to be tough but that was a really close race and I’m so chuffed with the time.

“The Bath National Training Centre squad has had a really good meet so far which is really exciting. It’s definitely been worth all the hard training.”

Rachel Kelly was just outside her PB to finish in 58.61 for fifth place.

In the S8 100m Freestyle Steph Slater set a European record to win silver in a time of 1:05.73.

Slater, who is based at the National Performance Centre in Manchester and is in hard training for the IPC European Swimming Championships which start on 4 August, touched 0.41 seconds behind Maddison Elliott who took the title in a World record time of 1:05.32.

Slater said: “Words can’t describe how I’m feeling, I’m so proud. I just wanted to enjoy the experience so to do another PB, I’m speechless. The freestyle is quite a new one for me so to get on the podium and represent England is great.”

Proud won his second medal of the day in the 4x100m Freestyle. Adam Brown (49.47), James Disney-May (48.81), Adam Barrett (49.04) and Proud (49.05) clocked 3:16.37 to secure bronze behind Australia (3:13.44) and South Africa (3:15.17).

Brown said: “We all stepped up and swam as well as we could. It was tough with the Australians on one side and the South Africans on the other but we gave it our best shot, swam with our hearts and we came away with the bronze so we’re all really chuffed.”

In the 200m Freestyle James Guy posted his fastest time this year touching in 1:46.84 to take sixth, while Nick Grainger clocked 1:49.69 for eighth.

Guy said: “I’m delighted to have lowered my PB. This morning in the heats I could definitely feel last night’s swim so it was a decent swim overall. I knew the Australians had a good chance at taking the medals but I wanted to give them a fight and so to get a PB as well, I’m really pleased.”

Sophie Taylor broke Zoe Baker’s twelve-year 50m Breaststroke British record with a great 30.56 swim in yesterday’s heats, but wasn’t able to repeat her performance in the final clocking 31.08 to finish just outside the medals in fourth.  

Elsewhere, Roberto Pavoni clocked 4:14.42 to take fourth in the 400m Individual Medley.

In the semi-finals Adam Peaty set a 59.16 British record on his way to qualifying fastest for tomorrow’s 100m Breaststroke final, while Fran Halsall set a Commonwealth Games record in 24.14 to book lane four in the 50m Freestyle final.