World champ swimmer Proud loses DQ appeal
Posted on 12/17/18 5:04 PM
England’s Ben Proud was a shock disqualifcation in the men’s 50m butterfly for moving on the blocks.England’s world champion swimmer Ben Proud says he’s gutted to lose his appeal after being disqualified at the Commonwealth Games.
Proud was disqualified for movement on the starting blocks ahead of his 50m butterfly heat on Thursday.
The Englishman, who is also the reigning Commonwealth 50m ‘fly and 50m freestyle champion, won the heat by nearly a body length – and in the fastest heats time – but was disqualified post-race.
Proud challenged the decision but the disqualification was upheld by an independent appeals board.
“I am in the shape of my life and am gutted to miss out on the opportunity to show what I can do,” Proud said.
Proud blamed over-eagerness in wanting to make an early impression at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre.
“Coming into the competition there is always apprehension ahead of the first race,” he said.
“With (thousands of) fans in the crowd, I wanted to give them something to cheer about by delivering a fast time.
“Unfortunately before the start signal I was judged to have moved my leg and the referee deemed this enough for a disqualification.
“I really wanted to come into the competition to retain both my titles and to have that opportunity taken away in the first heat is heartbreaking.”
Even Proud’s rivals were sympathetic.
“That is a shame for the competition,” n swim coach Jacco Verhaeren said.
“It’s not the same (without Proud) because he showed a world class time there but rules are rules.”
South Africa’s Chad le Clos finished second to Proud but ended being the fastest qualifier for Thursday night’s semi-finals.
“I would prefer to have Ben in the race and come second to somebody who is competitive with me,” le Clos said.
Proud had been expected to help spearhead England’s quest to topple ‘s No.1 ranking in the Commonwealth pool.
Canada was the last team to eclipse in a Commonwealth pool medal tally, back in 1978.