Olympic silver medallist Keri-Anne Payne has called time on her illustrious swimming career – 13 years after making her senior international debut for Great Britain.
Having first fallen in love with the sport at the tender age of four, Payne’s talents were noticed four years later by the-then British Swimming national performance director Bill Sweetenham.
In 2002, Payne – married to fellow Team GB swimmer David Carry – broke the British junior 800m freestyle record, before making her name on the international scene in 2004 with gold at the European Short Course Championships in Vienna.
She made her Olympic debut at Beijing 2008, competing in the 200m and 400m individual medleys, as well as the 10km open water event in which she won a silver medal.
The following year, 29-year-old Payne swam her way to World Championship 10km open water gold in Rome, before clinching the title once more in 2011 in Shanghai – with Commonwealth bronze in between.
She narrowly missed out on a second Olympic medal at London 2012, finishing four seconds behind the winner, before going on to represent Team GB at a third Games in Rio last summer.
Following her retirement, Payne will now turn her full attention to the business she runs with her husband, promoting her passion for open water and a healthy lifestyle.
“The decision to retire from competitive swimming has been made easy as I continue to chase and fuel my passion, inspiring people to share my love of open water,” she said.
“I’ve loved being part of the huge transformation in open water swimming. In 2008 I had to explain what my event was, four years later I walked out in front of 30,000 fans for my race at the London 2012 Olympic Games. That was my proudest sporting moment.
“I’m so grateful to all of the incredible coaches and support teams who have been part of my 18-year career.
“A massive thank you must also go to my family who have provided non-stop support, guidance and encouragement to chase my dreams of becoming an Olympian and World Champion.”