Stephens likely to face a waiting game after third-placed finish

PLYMOUTH Leander’s Laura Stephens is facing an anxious wait over her dreams of competing at this summer’s Olympic Games.

Stephens, a World Championship finalist, could have virtually guaranteed her place on the plane to Tokyo had she clocked a consideration time and finished in the top two at the British selection trials in London this week.

The 21-year-old did finish in the top two of the 100m butterfly event with a life-time best of 57.98, but that was agonisingly 0.06 of a second off the tough consideration time, while on Friday she had to settle for third place in a strong 200m butterfly final.

Stephens went into the 200m event with a personal best of 2:07.62, which was well inside the consideration time of 2:08.32. But it just did not happen for her on the night and she finished behind Swansea’s Alys Thomas and Stirling’s Keanna Macinnes in 2:09.53.

However, the University of Plymouth student, who swam 2:08.58 at last month’s Manchester International, could still make the Great Britain squad for Tokyo if she can swim the consideration time at one of four other designated meets and none of her rivals go quicker or she receives a discretionary selection by the national head coach.

Stephen’s young Leander team-mate Sophie Freeman also reached the 200m butterfly final on Friday, finishing seventh in 2:15.17.

Fellow Plymouth swimmer Adam Chillingworth could yet go to the Olympics.

He finished fourth in the men’s 200m breaststroke in 2:13.45, which was just 0.02 of a second off third place. But the time was inside the consideration for the Hong Kong squad.

Leander’s Ben Proud will be hoping to book his spot on the plane to Tokyo on Saturday when he competes in the 50m freestyle – the event where he was fourth at the last Olympic Games.

Honey Orsin will also be in action on Saturday in her favourite 200m backstroke event.

Osrin smashed her personal best to finish seventh in a strong women’s 100m backstroke final on Thursday.

The teenager lowered her PB in the heats with a 1:02.07 swim before taking nearly half-a-second off that in the final with 1:01.64.

Freeman will also compete in Saturday’s 200m backstroke.

Tom Beeley and Freddy Clampett, who both reached the men’s 200m butterfly final, with swim in the 100m event on Saturday.

Beeley came fifth in the 200m in 2:01.75, with Clampett taking seventh in 2:04.44.

Leave a Reply