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Keri-Anne Payne fumes after brutal 10km in Spain

July 23, 2013
Britain's Keri-anne Payne competes in the women's 10km marathon (Reuters)

Britain’s Keri-anne Payne competes in the women’s 10km marathon (Reuters)

Double world gold medallist Keri-Anne Payne finished 14th after a brutal 10km Open Water race at the World Championships in Barcelona.

The Warrender Baths swimmer took the lead on a number of occasions during the four 2.5km circuits of the Moll de la Fusta harbour but was eventually overpowered in the final lap as she crossed as part of the chasing pack in 1:58:25.8

Brazil’s Poliana Okimoto (1:58:19.2) and Ana Marcela Cunha (1:58:19.5) stepped up for gold and silver while Germany’s Angela Maurer (1:58:20.2) hung on for bronze.

Great Britain’s Danielle Huskisson finished 33rd in 2:01:35.5.

Payne navigated the buoys expertly, emerging first as they turned round the final marker, but she was dragged back into the pack as they returned for home.

And the Brit admitted she hadn’t experienced such a physical open water race on the world stage before.

“The first few laps were absolutely fine and then all of a sudden it was absolute carnage,” admitted Payne, who narrowly missed the podium in fourth in the 10km race at London 2012 last year.

“I’ve no idea how many places I lost going round one buoy, getting dunked, hit in the face and swam over. It’s not quite what I was hoping the swim would’ve been.

“The referees before the race said they were going to be really strict but I don’t think they were strict enough,” she added.

“The race didn’t need to be won by who has got the biggest elbows or who can dunk somebody the most. But maybe that’s just part of it and that’s the part that I’m not very good at.

“The focus for me this season was to get back in and enjoy training with a new club which I’ve done. It took a lot of energy but I made it here and came to worlds which is what I wanted to do this season when this time last year, I wanted to throw the towel in.”

Okimoto made up for her bitter setback at the Olympics when she held off compatriot Cunha in the final sprint.

An exhausted Okimoto failed to complete the event at Hyde Park’s Serpentine lake in London last year but had plenty left in the tank this time around and timed her late burst to perfection to pip Cunha to the line.

They were the second medals of the championships for Okimoto and Cunha, who won silver and bronze respectively behind American Haley Anderson in Saturday’s 5km race.

The Brazilians’ performance also bodes well for a possible run at an Olympic medal in home waters when Rio de Janeiro hosts the summer Games in 2016.

“It shows that Brazil is doing serious work,” Cunha, who narrowly failed to qualify for London, said.

“I watched the Olympics on TV and then I went to work and I improved a lot.

“Today I am the second best open water swimmer in the world, just behind another Brazilian athlete.”

The wheel has come full circle for German Maurer, a former 25km champion who will be 38 on Saturday, as she won silver in the 10km at the 2003 championships, also in Barcelona.

Results Woman’s 10k Barcelona 2013


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