COLCHESTER Swimming Club member Laura Stephens warmed up for next month's World Championships with an impressive performance in the Mare Nostrum Swim Series.

She performed well on her Great Britain Long Course debut, after competing in France and Spain.

The Plymouth Leander-based swimmer finished an impressive fourth in the Women’s 200 metres butterfly final, in Canet.

She just squeezed off the podium in the final 25m having swum a positive race and improved on her heat time in the morning.

Stephens' Great Britain team-mate Alys Thomas was victorious in the race.

She had started as favourite and showed great conviction to lead from the blocks all the way to the touch to win.

Extending her advantage throughout with a powerful piece of swimming, the Swansea flyer was over a second clear of her nearest rival, such was the dominance of her performance.

The previous night, Stephens finished sixth in the 200m backstroke final, having qualified seventh.

It was a solid effort as she gears up for her first long course World Championships.

Stephens, from Wix, was then back in action in the 100m butterfly alongside Thomas, with the European bronze medallist finishing sixth and Stephens eighth.

The former Colchester County High School for Girls pupil also competed for Great Britain in Barcelona.

She finished fifth in the 200m butterfly in a time of 2:10.55 and also competed in the 100m butterfly, clocking a time of 59.68 to finish tenth.

Great Britain enjoyed a brilliant night in the pool on Wednesday, as the World Championship-bound team advanced their preparations by winning five individual golds and a total of nine medals on the first of two nights of racing.

Stephens is currently gearing up for the World Championships, which start in South Korea on July 12.

She will now return to training before heading to the Far East at the start of next month to fine tune her preparations for the Championships.