Ben Proud is 'the ultimate athlete' according to coach Jon Rudd

Ben Proud
Ben Proud is currently ranked number one in the world at short course 100m freestyle

Ben Proud is capable of winning a medal at next summer's Rio Olympics, according to his coach Jon Rudd.

The Plymouth Leander swimmer, 21, set three new British records at the ASA's winter meet last week in Sheffield.

"He's the ultimate athlete, he really does live the lifestyle 24/7 of somebody that's looking for Olympic success," Rudd told BBC South West.

"He has the physical capabilities and he certainly has the emotional and psychological resilience to do that."

Proud, who won two gold medals at last summer's Commonwealth Games, twice broke the British short course 100m freestyle record as well as lowering the 50m freestyle and butterfly marks.

He trains alongside Lithuanian Olympic breaststroke champion Ruta Meilutyte, and Rudd says Proud reminds him of his most decorated swimmer four years ago.

"All the signs that I saw in Ruta, I'm seeing those signs in Ben," he added.

"I think we can look forward to something special and we'll do everything we can to make sure we make that right at the right time."

Proud has made changes to his training programme since Glasgow 2014, but the way in which he lowered the marks, including breaking Mark Foster's 14-year-old 50m freestyle record, impressed Rudd.

"I think the thing that surprised us was the extent to which he broke them, he took huge chunks off them and moved himself right to the top of the world rankings," he said.

"He's never been anywhere near this fast before, particularly at this time of the year, so as far as an Olympic cycle goes, it looks like it's all coming together at the right time."

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