Profile: Keri-Anne Payne, swimmer

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The Independent Online

Who's this making a splash?

She's a swimmer who yesterday became the first British athlete to officially qualify for London 2012. She earned her place in spectacular style, taking gold in the 10km Open Water event at the World Championships in Shanghai, China.

Quite a claim to fame, she must be over the moon.

She is, and not only because of her successful swim. Soon after completing her exhausting victory and learning she was London-bound, she heard the news that her sister was having a baby. As she expressively wrote on Twitter: "OH MY GOODNESS!!! World champion and I qualified for the 2012 Olympics and my sister is in labour right now!! Best day ever! Aaaahhhhhhhhh."

So will we see her win in 2012?

It would be a good bet. Miss Payne, who trains in Stockport, won a silver medal in the same event at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and is set to go one better next year. The marathon swim is one of London 2012's most anticipated events, taking place in The Serpentine in Hyde Park.

What are her long-term plans?

Once she's hung up her swimsuit for the last time, Miss Payne hopes to embark on a TV career. She's already doing a distance-learning course at the London School of Journalism in between swims.

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