English marathon swimmer and Beijing 2008 Olympic medallist Keri-anne Payne stormed to a second place finish in the FINA 10km Marathon Swimming Olympic Games Qualification Tournament in Portugal this weekend, putting herself into contention for Rio 2016 Olympic selection.
Under clear skies, Payne (Warrender) battled to the front of the huge field of over 50 world class swimmers in Setubal. Tackling the course for the very first time, Payne had to contend with cold temperatures and a strong tidal flow in the Setubal waters.
However, Payne stuck to her race plan and brought it home, showing her wealth of open water experience with a powerful finish as she hit the touchpads less than a second behind Xin Xin of China, to earn consideration for her third consecutive Olympic Games
Payne’s English teammate Danielle Huskisson (University of Stirling) put in an impressive performance to finish ninth, but with only the highest placed Brit gaining a consideration place, will unfortunately miss out on Rio.
England’s Jack Burnell (National Centre, Loughborough) has already earned consideration for nomination to Team GB after he finished fifth in the 10km event at last year’s World Championships.