Fans have bought their 2012 tickets – now Britain's first athlete books hers

With one week and one year to go until the London Olympics begin, Keri-Anne Payne, a 23-year-old from Heywood, near Manchester, yesterday became the first Briton to qualify for the event.

Payne, a silver medallist in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, won gold at the World Swimming Championships at Jinshan City Beach – a man-made lagoon near Shanghai – but more importantly, a top-10 finish in the 10km open water event confirmed her place for 2012.

To complete a memorable day, Payne's press conference was interrupted by a telephone call to inform her that her sister Janine was in labour. She now has a new niece, Erin, to celebrate with. "I really wish I could swear right now but I am not that kind of person," said Payne, thereby narrowly avoiding becoming not only the first member of Team GB but also the first to break one of Sir Clive Woodward's proposed team commandments.

"It feels amazing, I'm just so happy. To be on that Olympic team at a home Olympics is going to be absolutely amazing."

Woodward, the British Olympic Association's deputy chef de mission, wants Team GB athletes to agree to a code of conduct – including no swearing and responsible use of social media – ahead of a home Games from which much is expected.

A target of more medals from more sports that the 47 from 11 secured in Beijing has been set in return for £264m of funding from UK Sport.

Payne could provide more than one medal herself. She will also compete in the pool-based events in Shanghai, having been selected for the 1500m and the relay team.

Payne, who was born in Johannesburg and moved to Britain at the age of 13 when her English parents decided to return home, could become one of the faces of 2012. Her silver four years ago came in the inaugural open water 10km race – a gruelling event that takes two hours and regularly sees exhausted swimmers hauled from the water in distress.

With no lanes – races can become a free-for-all as competitors round the buoys that mark the course – and conditions that can be cold and windy, this is swimming's toughest test, and there have been calls for more boats to be stationed around courses to improve safety. In London, the open water swimming will be staged in the Serpentine in Hyde Park – where swans replace jelly-fish as the on-course irritant.

Life and Style
A monstrous idea? Body transplants might no longer be science fiction
Science An Italian neurosurgeon believes so - and it's not quite as implausible as it sounds, says Steve Connor
Sport
Demba Ba (right) celebrates after Besiktas win on penalties
footballThere was no happy return to the Ataturk Stadium, where the Reds famously won Champions League
Arts and Entertainment
Natural beauty: Aidan Turner stars in the new series of Poldark
arts + ents
News
Mia Freedman, editorial director of the Mamamia website, reads out a tweet she was sent.
arts + ents
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
The write stuff: masters of story-telling James Joyce, left, and Thomas Hardy
arts + ents...begging to differ, John Walsh can't even begin to number the ways
News
Image from a flyer at the CPAC event where Nigel Farage will be speaking
news
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower