Before Saturday Britain’s swimmers had been dealing only in gold at the World Swimming Championships in Budapest but on the penultimate day of competition Ben Proud and James Guy added a bronze apiece to the British haul.
Both have already enjoyed visiting the top step of the podium at this meet, Proud in the 50m butterfly and Guy with a memorable anchor leg in Friday’s 4x200m freestyle relay.
And they were able to double up in their medal collections in the space of 34 minutes, first through Proud in the 50m freestyle, followed by Guy in the 100m butterfly.
Guy touched home in 50.83, just off the British record he set in the semi-finals, and level with Olympic champion Joseph Schooling of Singapore, but it was the breakout star of the Championships Caeleb Dressel who took gold in 49.86 – the second fastest time ever.
And Guy explained afterwards that the emotion of his relay heroics the previous night had taken their toll on him.
He said: “It’s a pretty good swim but I knew coming into tonight I was a bit tired, I could feel it in my legs a little bit from last night.
“I knew it was about going out quite controlled and then bringing it home as fast as I could. My finish was terrible, really terrible but a bronze medal, what can I say?
“I was on such a high last night, I couldn’t sleep. I was so excited so it was hard to come back down and relax.
“I think I got to sleep about half one so it was pretty late. It didn’t help having Adam Peaty snoring either!
“I am still over the moon with a bronze medal though in a so-called fun event for me, I never thought I would get that in a meet here. It’s a good thing moving forward.”
Like Guy, Proud was also bested by Dressel, who added world title number six in the final event of the night, the 4x100m mixed freestyle relay.
And while Proud was not able to match the gold he had taken in the 50m butterfly, he was still thrilled to have picked up a first global medal in an Olympic event.
He said: “To come away with the bronze medal in an Olympic event is somewhat more pleasing than that gold the other day.
“I'll be able to go back to the team and be part of that: Olympic event medallist.
“I used to pride myself in having one of the best starts, but Caeleb's come out and completely obliterated me. So it's going to be something to really work on in the next year.
“I've got two years until I'm up against him again. Hopefully two years from now I'll be able to dive in and put a bit of pressure on him.”
The third British finalist in action was Holly Hibbott, who was taking part in the 800m freestyle and she touched home in 8:38.63 to finish eighth.
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