Keri-Anne Payne was the first Brit to qualify for the London 2012 Olympics after winning 10km open water marathon gold at the World Championships in Shanghai in July 2011. However her official selection didn’t come until just after the Olympic trials in March, where she failed to add any swims in the pool to her already secured open water place.
Born in Johannesburg to British parents, Payne was eight when she impressed then performance director Bill Sweetenham at a training camp in South Africa.Aged 13, Payne moved to Britain with her family to live in Heywood and she soon joined Stockport Metro and met her long-standing coach Sean Kelly.It was Kelly who put the thought of open water swimming in her head as a solution to regain funding following a failure to win a medal at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.
Payne won silver as open water swimming was added to the Olympic programme for the Beijing Games in 2008, sharing the limelight with teammate Cassie Patten who took bronze but has since retired. She plans to marry fellow swimmer David Carry after the Olympics