Kerri-Anne Payne becomes first GB athlete to qualify for London 2012

Payne becomes first GB athlete to qualify for 2012
© PA Photos
Swimmer Kerri-Anne Payne becomes first GB Athlete to qualify for London 2012 after winning gold at the World Championships.

Kerri-Anne Payne has become the first British athlete to qualify for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

The 23-year-old swimmer won the gold medal in the 10km open water event at the FINA World Championships in Shanghai to seal her spot.

The 2009 world champion and 2008 Olympic silver medallist completed the course at Jinshan City Beach in two hours, one minute and 58.1 seconds.

Payne said: "I really wish I could swear right now but I am not that kind of person. It feels amazing, I'm just so happy with myself for doing that.

"To be on that Olympic team at a home Olympics is going to be absolutely amazing. I'm really pleased."

Payne was realistic about how much attention her world title would bring in the next 12 months.

"I'm sure there will be added pressure on me going into the Olympics but I'll just work on that coming into it," she added.

British Olympics Association Chief Executive Andy Hunt said: "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."

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