Proud determined to regain Commonwealth gold in Birmingham

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Ben Proud is desperate to regain his Commonwealth Gold title this summer.
Ben Proud is desperate to regain his Commonwealth Gold title this summer.

Ben Proud made a promise four years ago to regain his Commonwealth Games gold medals - and he’s determined to keep it with the showpiece event in Birmingham looming.

The Commonwealth Games have been incredibly fruitful for the Plymouth star, with three gold, two silver and one bronze medals won across two games.

Proud won 50m freestyle and butterfly gold in Glasgow eight years ago, though only retained his freestyle gold in Australia four years later.

Having been left disappointed by missing out on a fourth Commonwealth gold on that occasion, the 27-year-old from Plymouth is determined to make good on his vow time around.

“When I said in 2018 that I was going to come back in 2022 and retain both my titles, that has stuck with me these entire four years. It’s definitely been a big motivation to carry on going up until then,” said Proud.

“What I’ve always said was that I’m going to go full steam ahead until 2022 for the Commonwealth Games, so that I can retain both the 50m freestyle and try and take back the 50m butterfly which is something I lost in 2018.

“It’s a pivotal point in my career, this one.”

Proud is one of more than 1,100 elite athletes on UK Sport’s National Lottery-funded World Class Programme, allowing them to train full time, have access to the world’s best coaches and benefit from pioneering technology, science and medical support.

Such backing has helped him compete in competitive sprint disciplines over a long period of time.

“Being able to do the double gold in 2022 - eight years after I did it in 2014 which was the start of my international career - that for me would be my legacy and what I really strive to do.

“It’s probably bigger than it should be for me. Commonwealth Games, I think to English and British athletes, and Australians, it’s an awesome meet to be a part of. It’s great fun, but it’s also great to go and get medals and take them home.

“To me it’s exciting. My aim is to go there and do as well as I can, and try and get both those gold medals that I got in 2014.”

Part of what fires Proud up is that he will be competing on home soil this summer.

This summer, Team England, supported by funding raised by National Lottery players, will comprise over 400 athletes. Having secured his place on the squad, Proud is looking to capitalise on the once in a lifetime opportunity for medal success in his home country.

Though some athletes would struggle with that pressure, he is determined to embrace the opportunity Team England athletes have been given.

He said: “I wouldn’t say pressure, as it makes it exciting. Apart from the European Championships in Glasgow in 2018, I can’t think of many home games that I’ve had.

“I think I’m more excited because it’s at home, more excited that I can potentially have family there watching.

“Being English, it’s only once every four years you get to race for your country. I’m excited to put all the work I’ve done in the past six, seven, eight years into good use and show that I’ve been able to maintain my career.”

National Lottery players raise more than £30million a week for good causes including vital funding into sport – from grassroots to elite. Find out how your numbers make amazing happen at: www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk and get involved by using the hashtag: #TNLAthletes.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting