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Keri-anne Payne retires from competitive swimming

Olympic silver medallist and two-time open water world champion Keri-anne Payne has retired from competitive swimming.

The 29-year old broke new ground for English open water swimming, becoming the first female Olympic medallist and first female world champion for the 10km event.

Payne also won international medals in the pool, competing at three consecutive Olympic Games between 2008 and 2016.

She showed promise as a teenager, winning three medals at the 2003 European Junior Championships. A year later, she claimed 400m Freestyle gold at the 2004 European Short Course Championships in Vienna.

Payne’s major long course debuts followed shortly after as she competed at the 2006 Commonwealth Games, 2007 World Championships and 2008 Olympics, winning 10km silver in the latter.

She added back-to-back world titles in 2009 and 2011, squeezing in 400m Individual Medley bronze at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in between.

Payne went on to compete at another two Olympics and another two World Championships. She finished fifth in the 10km at London 2012 and seventh in the same event last year at Rio 2016.

Loved being part of the huge transformation in open water swimming

“The sport of swimming has given me life-defining experiences. It’s helped me find joy in taking on incredible challenges and created friendships that have enriched my life,” said Payne.

“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.

“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. They have provided non-stop support, guidance and encouragement to chase my dreams of becoming an Olympian and world champion.”

Keri-anne Payne’s career in pictures

Look back on some of Keri-anne Payne’s finest moments of her swimming career in our gallery.