Keri-anne Payne nets gold in her first event

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Keri-anne PAYNE is Warrender’s new superstar recruit, and she celebrated her first event at Edinburgh’s Royal Commonwealth Pool by winning the 800m freestyle at the Scottish Gas National Open Short Course Championships.

The 25-year-old World Open Water Champion, who married fellow-Olympian, Scot David Carry, in September, missed out on a medal in the 200m individual medley, but she will be hoping to mount the rostrum again this weekend as she lines-up in the 100m medley and the 200m and 400m freestyle.

Carry, Scotland’s double Commonwealth Games Champion from 2006, has retired from swimming, but Payne has not ruled out an appearance for England at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

There will be no Open Water event on the Glasgow programme, but Payne is a threat in various pool events as she confirmed with an 8:34.78 winning time in the 800m final, finishing just over a second ahead of Edinburgh University’s Sian Morgan.

“I’ve been training with Warrender for about a month and a half but I’ve not done a huge amount,” she admitted. “At the moment, I’m just taking it one year at a time and I’ll see how it goes for the Commonwealth Games.”

Mark Tully (East Lothian) was in outstanding form, taking the men’s 50m breaststroke gold in a Scottish record 27.38, with Warrender’s Daniel Lim breaking the Scottish junior time with 29.09.

Edinburgh University’s Kathryn Johnstone is best known as a 50m specialist, but the 22-year-old showed she is developing over the longer distances with an impressive gold in the 100m breaststroke.

The Commonwealth Games swimmer set a personal best of 1:06.72 and was just fractions away from the Scottish record.

Johnstone’s team mate, Corrie Scott, was runner-up in 1;07.62 and there was also a one-two for Edinburgh University in the men’s 50m freestyle. Richard Shafers took the title in 22.33 and Kieran McGukin was second in 22.48.

Warrender teenager Dan Wallace won the 40m freestyle in 3:47.08, with his far more experienced clubmate, Lewis Smith, snatching the bronze in 3:50.06. Sarah Eaglesham (Edinburgh University) claimed the 100m freestyle clocking 55.03.