Laura Stephens hopes to make fans proud

Laura Stephens said being part of Team England’s Commonwealth Games squad will help lift her performances in the pool – as she doesn’t want to let anyone down.

The 18-year-old swam a lifetime best as she won gold in the 200m butterfly at the Swim England National Winter Championships last December to seal her place on the trip to Australia’s Gold Coast.

Laura Stephens
  • DOB: 02/06/1999
  • Club: Plymouth Leander
  • Coaches: Robin Armayan
  • CWG: Making debut at Gold Coast 2018

Stephens clocked 2:09.32 to finish a second under the Commonwealth Games consideration time and add the 200m butterfly title to the 100m crown she also won at Ponds Forge.

And she said seeing the likes of Plymouth teammate Ben Proud and Olympic champion Adam Peaty enjoy success on their debut Commonwealth Games at Glasgow four years ago has been inspirational.

Stephens said: “It’s always been a dream for me to work towards the Olympics and the Commonwealth Games will be a great stepping stone to get me there.

Great feeling

“Seeing Ben Proud in his first Commonwealth Games get gold in the 50m butterfly and 50m freestyle and seeing Adam Peaty compete as well is a big inspiration to me.

“It’s such a great feeling whenever you represent your country. It gives you something extra and helps lift you and your performances as you do not want to let people down. It’s just a massive boost.”

Stephens said the Gold Coast was on her mind as she swam the final 50m during her title-winning performance in the 200m butterfly at the national championships.

“Get to Commonwealths was going over in my head,” said Stephens. “It’s like a blur now as it goes by so quickly.

“It was me versus the clock and I knew It was going to be that but I’m just so happy.”