Keri-anne Payne has been named Women’s Open Water Athlete of the Year by European national governing body LEN.
The 23-year old – who trains under Sean Kelly at the British Gas ITC Stockport – has enjoyed her most productive season to date, defending her 10km title at the World Aquatics Championships in Shanghai and becoming the first Brit to qualify for London 2012 in the process.
Other notable performances for Payne this season included her sixth victory in February’s Midmar Mile and an impressive performance for gold at the 10km race at the LEN Open Water Cup in a time of 1:52.12.
While she receives her award for her open water exploits, Payne also took strides in her pool form in 2011.
At the British Gas Swimming Championships in March, she broke an eight-year old British record to win 1500m Freestyle gold as well as setting personal bests en route to bronze medals in the 200m, 400m and 800m Freestyle.