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There were more golden moments for Plymouth at the World Aquatics Championships in Doha on Thursday. After Tom Daley last week won Gold and Silver medals, swimmer Laura Stephens won her first world title in the women’s 200m butterfly – and then Aidan Heslop claimed high diving gold.

The 24-year-old swimmer took gold in a time of 2.07.35 as she became the first British woman to win an individual world championship since 2011.. Heslop then pulled off the toughest dive ever seen at a world championship to win his gold medal.

No British woman had won an individual world title since Rebecca Adlington in 2011, and Stephens’ victory also made her the first Brit to win a world medal in the 200m butterfly event. This also marked Britain’s first swimming gold medal at the championships in Qatar.

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Stephens, who moved to Plymouth aged 14, and who swam for Plymouth Leander, as well as studying achitectural engineering at the University of Plymouth, had previously bagged silver in the same event at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in 2022 but had never won a world championships medal before.

Gold Medalist, Laura Stephens of Team Great Britain poses with her medal after the Medal Ceremony for the Women’s 200m Butterfly Final on day fourteen of the Doha 2024 World Aquatics Championships at Aspire Dome on February 15, 2024 in Doha, Qatar(Image: Getty Images)

“I can’t believe it – all I was thinking about in the last 50m was holding on,” Laura said. She led the race from start to finish but had to push hard in the final 50m to fend off Denmark’s Helena Bach, who finished second in two minutes 7.44 seconds, and Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Lana Pudar (two minutes 7.92 seconds), who was third.

“I think I executed well – it’s all about the Olympics this summer and we’re still working towards that and this is great, but we’ve still got some hard work to go,” said Stephens.

In high diving, which isn’t an Olympic sport, Britain’s Aidan Heslop, who trains in Plymouth, won his first world title after pulling off the toughest dive ever seen at a world championship.

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