PLYMOUTH Leander’s Laura Stephens has officially been added to Team GB’s swimming squad for this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Her selection comes after impressing at the recent British Swimming Glasgow Open Meet and the European Championships, where she helped her country to a record-breaking women’s medley relay gold medal.
“It feels absolutely incredible and a bit overwhelming,” said Stephens of her call-up to the Olympic squad.
“Part of it hasn’t quite sunk in yet and I don’t think it will until I’m literally on the plane going.”
Stephens, coached by Robin Armayan at the Life Centre, added: “Every time that I have represented this country, it’s always been such a big honour, but to do it on the biggest stage that our sport has is a real honour and such a privilege.
“I feel incredibly lucky. I’ve had the best support staff that I could have around me, my family and friends have been there for me since day one, they have believed in me, and that is the meaning behind being able to put that kit on and say ‘I’m an Olympian for Team GB’.”
Stephens smashed her 200m butterfly PB at the recent meeting in Glasgow and was nearly one-and-a-half seconds under the consideration time.
Joining her as a late addition to the squad is Scottish swimmer Lucy Hope. It takes Team GB’s swimming squad for Japan to 30.
Team GB Chef de Mission for Tokyo 2020 Mark England said: “It is fantastic to be able to welcome two more talented swimmers onto the team for the Tokyo Olympic Games. This is an incredibly strong team of 30 individuals and we’ve seen from Laura and Lucy’s recent performances that they will undoubtedly impress in Tokyo.
“We’d like to congratulate them both on their selection and hope that they soak up all the excitement that comes with being an Olympic debutant.”
Chris Spice, British Swimming national performance director and Team GB swimming leader, added: “I’m delighted to welcome Laura and Lucy onto the team, their selection just reward for some impressive swims over the last month, individually and most importantly in our relays. They have shown incredible resilience to bounce back and get the job done – this epitomises one of the key traits of our 30-strong team.
“I’ve no doubt they, along with the rest of the team, will kick on again as we fine tune our preparations for the Games over the coming weeks.”