Aquatics / Olympics

Leander’s Stephens is keen to learn from her Olympic experience

Plymouth Leander’s Laura Stephens is determined to learn from her Olympic experience.

Stephens, making her debut at the Games, was left disappointed after narrowly missing out on reaching the final of the women’s 200m butterfly event on Wednesday morning.

She ended up ranked 10th overall with a 2:09.49 swim, with just the top eight progressing.

Had she swam anywhere close to her personal best of 2:07.04 or even her heat time of 2:09.00 she would have been in the final. However, it just was not to be on the day.

“I gave it my everything,” said 22-year-old Stephens. “When I was swimming, I really thought I had it in the bag, but touched the wall and it wasn’t meant to be.

“Maybe automatic qualification from the heats made me a bit more relaxed last night and that’s where that swim came from, and this morning with a bit more pressure on, things didn’t go quite to plan. There’s a lot to learn from that swim, so hopefully I can take that into the next couple of seasons.”

She added:  “I had a really rocky season in terms of not initially qualifying for the Games, getting it at the last possible minute – that was a big thing for me – and I tried the best to carry that through. Again, this is where we go back to the drawing board with my coach, see how we can improve and be better next time.

“But I want to thank everyone who got up and watched me this morning and my coach Robin, land coach Paris and my family – mum, dad and Emily – they have been there with me and believed in me.”

Stephens, who could yet feature in GB’s medley relay team, said competing at the Olympics had been an ‘incredible’ experience.

Meanwhile, fellow former Plymouth College pupil Calum Jarvis helped Great Britain win gold in the men’s 4x200m freestyle relay.

Jarvis swam the heats before individual silver medal winner Duncan Scott came in for him for the final and brought GB home to a stunning victory in 6:58.58, which was just off the world record.

There was also a medal in the pool for former Mount Kelly pupil Federico Burdisso, who won bronze in the men’s 200m butterfly in 1:54.34.

Away from the pool, Plymouth rower Jacob Dawson helped the GB men’s eights into the Olympic final with second place in the repechage.

However, there was disappointment for fellow Plymouth rower Chloe Brew in the GB women’s eight as they missed out on reaching the final.

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