Keri Anne-Payne won gold in the women’s 10km open water race in a thrilling sprint finish to give Great Britain their second gold of the 2009 Fina World Championships.
The 21-year-old Olympic silver medallist finished with a time of two hours, one minute and 37.1 seconds, only edging out Ekatarina Seliverstova by one second.
The 10km race was built up as a straight head-to-head between Payne and eight-time world champion Larisa Ilchenko, who came out victorious against the Manchester-born athlete in Beijing. However, the Russian pulled out half way through the race with a leg injury.
This bit of misfortune allowed Payne to storm to victory in the Tyrrhenian Sea at the Ostia beach resort.
Payne wanted to make sure she never finished second best again after Beijing, ”When I was in the lead I put my head down and hoped nobody would pass me and they didn’t.”
“I thought ‘I won’t be second best, I want to be world champion’,” she went on to add.
Payne can now focus on her pool events, the individual medley over both 200m and 400m.
Sam Cook, Sportsister
The Women’s Sports Magazine
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