British Olympian Keri-anne Payne has announced her retirement from competitive swimming after a 12-year long career. Hanging up her goggles, the 29-year-old trailblazer for British women’s distance swimming will be focusing on her new business venture, Triscape, with husband and former Olympic swimmer David Carry.
Making her senior international debut at the European Short Course Championships in 2004, Payne’s career highlights include winning the 10k silver medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, as well as being crowned FINA’s 10k Marathon Swimming World Champion in both 2011 and 2013.
Payne says of her illustrious time in the water, “The sport of swimming has given me life-defining experiences, helped me find joy in taking on incredible challenges and created friendships that have enriched my life.
“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 who have provided non-stop support, guidance and encouragement to chase my dreams of becoming an Olympian and World Champion.”
British Swimming’s National Performance Director Chris Spice said: “Keri-anne has been an exceptional ambassador for swimming throughout her long career. In particular, she has helped to boost both the profile and participation levels of marathon swimming following that impressive silver medal during the inaugural 10km race at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
“A long and distinguished career has seen her win major honours on the Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth levels including two world titles. Keri-anne has also been a great role model for our younger athletes and she has inspired many around her with her training ethic and determination to succeed at the very top level.
“On behalf of everyone at British Swimming I would like to thank her for her services to the sport and wish her well with the next stage of her career.”