Team GB Chef de Mission and British Olympic Association CEO Andy Hunt, from the Aquatics World Championships in Shanghai, said:
“We congratulate open water swimmer Keri-Anne Payne on becoming the first athlete to achieve the Olympic qualification standard and earn a named place to compete for Team GB in London 2012, subject to meeting British Swimming’s form and fitness selection criteria next summer.
“Keri-Anne’s outstanding performance to win gold at the World Aquatics Championships in Shanghai is a terrific personal accomplishment and the Olympic qualification represents a significant milestone on the road to 2012 for Team GB. It is very appropriate that the first athlete to qualify a named place for London 2012 comes in an event which brought us so much success at the last Olympics, where Team GB’s exceptional swimmers brought home half of the six medals on offer in the open water discipline.
“On a personal note, I was privileged to witness such a thrilling race first-hand and fully appreciate the talent and sheer determination required to succeed in this gruelling discipline.
“In terms of Team GB Olympic qualification, that’s one down, around 549 to go – well done Keri-Anne Payne for getting the ball rolling.”