One down, 549 to go

Keri-Anne Payne of Great Britain, the 2008 Olympic silver medallist has become the first British athlete to qualify for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

The 23-year-old Stockport swimmer won the gold medal in the 10k 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 with Italy’s Martina Grimaldi second and Greece’s Marianna Lymperta third.

“I couldn’t be happier right now and it’s great to make the team but I know I have to keep going as next year is going to be even harder,” said Payne.

“It’s an amazing feeling. There is a massive sense of relief because now I can just concentrate on training to make sure I’m at my absolute peak in London.”

The top 10 finishers in the race automatically earned Olympic places and in terms of Team GB Olympic qualification, that’s one down and around 549 to go.

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