She may be one of the more inexperienced members of the British team but prodigy Laura Stephens will be raring to go ahead of her maiden LEN European Short Course Championships next month.
At just 20 years of age Stephens is in possession of scarce international experience compared to much of the field, with Glasgow presenting a golden opportunity for her to really announce herself on the global stage.
But Stephens is no stranger to the big occasion, travelling to Gwangju for this summer’s World Championships and placing 8th in the 200m Butterfly with a time of 2 minutes 9.35 seconds.
Prior to that she was part of the Team England squad who took part in the 2018 Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast, finishing 8th once again in the 200m Butterfly and 15th in the 100m edition of the stroke.
She appeared at the Games after producing a stunning lifetime best in the 200m qualifiers, nevertheless going on to improve on that time earlier this year when she touched the wall in 2 minutes 7.96 seconds.
It’s the domestic stage where Stephens has so far won her medals and crafted a reputation for herself, however, achieving considerable success in Glasgow – where else – during the British Championships in April this year.
The up and coming star clinched silver and bronze in the 200m and 100m Butterfly respectively, clearly catching the eye of one or two selectors who put their trust in her for the World Championships this summer.
And her precocious performance in Korea unequivocally repaid that faith, reaching the final of the 200m Butterfly but falling short of a medal in her first ever appearance at the competition.
So, with an Olympic year looming, Stephens will be hoping to impress even further next month to catapult her into contention for Tokyo.
Follow Laura on social
Twitter – @laurakjs99
Instagram – @laurakjs99
Short Course Personal Bests
100m Butterfly – 57.62
200m Butterfly – 2:04.94
Fun Fact – If it wasn’t for her sister Stephens may never have started swimming, deciding to take up lessons after being inspired by her older sibling.