Payne further underlines world credentials in Salford

By Sportsbeat Staff

Keri-Anne Payne further underlined her intention to win back her world open water title this summer – claiming victory at the British Gas Great Salford Swim in Manchester.

Payne, who won Olympic open water 10km silver in Beijing in 2008, looked in good form over a mile in Salford and edged clear with 400m to go to finish first in a time of 17:33.91minutes.

Fellow Brit Cassie Patten narrowly missed out on finishing behind her with the Olympic bronze medalist clocking 18:38.75 but being beaten to second by Switzerland’s Swann Oberson.

Payne’s win comes swiftly on from her triumph at the LEN Open Water Cup in Israel, a result that saw her qualify for the 10km open water swim for this summer’s World Championships in Shanghai.

She won world gold little less than 12 months after her Olympic silver in Rome in 2009 before finishing eighth in Canada last year –  but on currently form she is looking good to win back her crown.

“I decided to just go for it right from the start,” said Payne. “I’ve had a week off so thought it would be best to try and lead from the off and the race went really well.

“I knew the other girls were close behind me so I was determined to keep going as fast as I could. It was fantastic to hear the spectators cheering me on, especially on my home soil.

“The atmosphere at the Great Swims is just brilliant. I’m really delighted.”

Meanwhile nine-time world champion and Olympic bronze medalist Thomas Lurz never looked in trouble as he won the men’s race to continue his dominance in Salford.

Lurz finished five metres ahead of fast-finishing Greek swimmer Spyridon Gianniotis in 16:03.41 with Frenchman Julien Sauvage completing the top three.

Olympic open water 10km silver medalist David Davies finished as the top Brit in fourth one place ahead of Tom Allen, who was in turn one ahead of Dan Fogg.

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