Payne looking to make a splash in Rio

20 May 2014 / 10:51

Keri-Anne Payne is certainly making the most of her time away from competitive swimming but the British open water swimmer insists she will back firing on all cylinders in a matter of months.

The 26-year-old decided to take a step back from the sport last summer following her 14th place finish in the defence of her world open water crown in Barcelona.

With 18 years of solid training already under her belt, very few could begrudge her the opportunity to take a quick breather and recharge – something she has done with low key competitions around the world as well as trying out alternative types of training such as judo and plenty of travelling.

She has planned a return to competitive swimming at the end of September in preparation for the 2015 World Championships and the build up to Rio 2016 Olympics.

Payne has already medalled on the biggest stage of all, picking up silver in the 10km open water event at Beijing 2008 before finishing just off the podium in London four years later, finishing fourth.

And with her passion for the sport burning as bright as ever despite the sabbatical, Payne is ready to dive straight back into things.

“Swimming is my hobby, I absolutely love doing this and the fact I can still do this, still compete against the best in the world and beat the best in the world, for me that’s what keeps me in this,” said Payne, who was speaking in her role as ambassador at the launch of this year’s Lloyds Local Heroes scheme.

“I’ve started swimming when I was four, but probably started training when I was eight years old and I’m 26 now so it’s 18 years.

“So when Rio comes around I will have been in the sport 20 years which is frightening to think.

“I’m still training five or six times a week as opposed to ten I normally do. Doing a bit of cross training but still keeping fit, and doing things like judo, rock climbing, yoga and travelling a bit more. That sort of stuff has been great.

“The qualification process for Rio will be next year at the World Championships so I’ll be looking to come back into things competitively September time.”

© Sportsbeat 2014