Keri-Anne makes a splash in pool as she preps for Rio

Keri-Anne Payne
Keri-Anne Payne
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Keri-Anne Payne has made her name winning Olympic and World medals in open water swimming but she believes it’s in the pool that she has laid down a marker to her Rio rivals.

The double world champion and 2008 Olympic silver-medallist will attempt to book her open water spot in Brazil in June, but has been warming up for that at the 2016 British Swimming Championships in Glasgow.

The Warrender Baths swimmer kicked off the competition with a surprise qualification for the final of the 200m freestyle, before following that up by qualifying second fastest for the 800m freestyle final.

And although her main focus remains the open water, she thinks her exploits in the pool will have made her long-distance rivals sit up and take notice.

She explained: “It was such a different event and so far out of my comfort zone, going from swimming 10k to the 200m.

“I was really impressed with myself for making the final and doing the two minutes that I did in the morning and I think a lot of people were as well. What it’s said to the open water world is that I’m capable of doing that.

“The open water is becoming more of a sprint in the same way that ten years ago the 800m was becoming more of a sprint. There are some amazing world class swimmers in the open water and everybody is trying to find every little thing that they can.”

Edinburgh University’s Kathryn Johnstone finished 18th in the 200m breaststroke, with her focus on the 100m on Sunday.

The 200m breaststroke later provided the shock of the Championships so far as Chloe Tutton smashed the British record, beating previous holder Molly Renshaw along the way to give herself a chance of going to Rio.

She could be joined by Welsh compatriot Georgia Davies, victorious in the 100m backstroke, albeit just outside the qualifying standard.

There was a similar problem for Chris Walker-Hebborn in the men’s equivalent as he failed to make the qualifying time on his way to victory, while veteran Liam Tancock came home second.

Finally, Swansea’s Adam Mallett was a surprise winner in the 200m butterfly, but well outside the required standard for Rio.

• Tickets for the European Aquatics Championships – the biggest event to be held at the London Aquatics Centre since the 2012 Olympic and Paralympics Games – from May 9-22 are now available here: www.euroaquatics2016.london