Payne is first GB athlete to qualify for Olympics

KERI-ANNE Payne has become the first Great Britain athlete to qualify for the 2012 Olympics.

Payne booked her place in next yeat’s showpiece after winning gold in the 10 kilometre open water race at the FINA World Championships in Shanghai.

The 23-year-old went straight to the front before she wascaught by Australian Melissa Gorman late on the third lap of the 2.5km circuit.

However, she pulled away on the final lap, holding off a late surge by 2010 world champion Martina Grimaldi, to win in two hours one minute 58.1 seconds.

It was Great Britain's first medal of the competition in China and also means the Stockport ITC swimmer becomes the first athlete to make the team for London as she required a top-10 finish to confirm her spot.


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Payne’s win also saw her regain the world title she last won in Italy in 2009.

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