KERI-ANNE Payne made her senior international debut at the European Short Course Championships in 2004 and went from strength-to-strength in a competitive career that has spanned more than 12 years.
Her many accolades include a 10km marathon swimming Silver Medal at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and she was twice FINA 10km Marathon Swimming World Champion in 2011 and 2013.
Payne will now turn her focus to her new business venture Triscape, started with husband and former Olympic swimmer David Carry, promoting healthy and active lifestyles for all.
“The sport of swimming has given me life-defining experiences, helped me find joy in taking on incredible challenges and created friendships that have enriched my life,” Payne said.
“The decision to retire from competitive swimming has been made easy as I continue to chase and fuel my passion, inspiring people to share my love of open water.
“I’ve loved being part of the huge transformation in open water swimming. In 2008 I had to explain what my event was, four years later I walked out in front of 30,000 fans for my race at the London 2012 Olympic Games. That was my proudest sporting moment.
“I’m so grateful to all of the incredible coaches and support teams who have been part of my 18-year career. A massive thank you must also go to my family who have provided non-stop support, guidance and encouragement to chase my dreams of becoming an Olympian and World Champion.”
British Swimming’s national performance director Chris Spice said: “Keri-Anne has been an exceptional ambassador for swimming throughout her long career. In particular, she has helped to boost both the profile and participation levels of marathon swimming following that impressive silver medal during the inaugural 10km race at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
“A long and distinguished career has seen her win major honours on the Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth levels including two world titles. Keri-anne has also been a great role model for our younger athletes and she has inspired many around her with her training ethic and determination to
succeed at the very top level.
“On behalf of everyone at British swimming I would like to thank her for her services to the sport and wish her well with the next stage of her career.”
Payne is also an ambassador for sporting charities SportsAid and SkillForce and will dedicate more time to working on projects with them.
Tim Lawler, chief executive of SportsAid said: “She has been a fantastic ambassador for SportsAid in recent years, sharing her experiences and providing advice and guidance for a new generation of talented
athletes. We hope to build further upon this role for Keri-anne to help SportsAid grow an even greater insight into the talent development environment for young athletes and the sharing of best practice across
“As a recently retired Olympic medallist, her views and passion for the cause will continue to prove invaluable. Keri-anne’s athlete-centred approach, where she wishes to represent the interests and needs of young athletes, will make a real difference as SportsAid supports the next generation of British sports stars leading up to Tokyo 2020 and beyond.”
Ben Slade, chief executive of SkillForce, said: “We are fiercely proud of our association with Keri-anne and she is a terrific ambassador for the charity. We focus on developing character, resilience and self confidence in young people using the skills of ex-service veterans.
“As a former SkillForce student and the embodiment of resilience, determination and success, Keri-anne is both an inspiration to the young people we work with and a fantastic role model. We are thrilled that Keranne’s
retirement from the world of competitive swimming will mean she is able to spend more time championing SkillForce alongside her new career and charitable work.”