World Champion Keri-anne Payne has been announced FINA Athlete of the Year for women’s Open Water after her impressive summer performance.
The best nine Athletes of the Year 2011 were selected by FINA for its five aquatic disciplines. FINA collected votes from its 202 National Member Federations, media and aquatic experts. Payne was recognised for her achievements at the 2011 World Championships in Shanghai where she dominated the two-hour long 10km Open Water race.
She was crowned the World Champion and also achieved the qualification standard for the London 2012 Olympic Games – the first athlete in Great Britain to do so.
On the prize she said: “I’m so pleased to have been given this accolade by FINA. It’s great recognition for a great season and an honour to be in there alongside such outstanding athletes from aquatic sports.
“I was so pleased with my achievements this season and to have met the qualification criteria for the Olympics was the icing on the cake. I am now in hard training as my attention has turned fully onto the Games next year.”