Payne finishes 14th after brutal 10km in Spain

23rd July 2013

Double world gold medallist Keri-anne Payne finished 14th after a brutally physical 10km Open Water race at the 2013 World Championships in Barcelona.

The Warrender Baths swimmer took the lead on a number of occasions during the four 2.5km circuits of the Moll de la Fusta harbour but was eventually overpowered in the final lap as she crossed as part of the chasing pack in 1:58:25.8

Having won silver and bronze in the 5km three days ago, Brazil's Poliana Okimoto (1:58:19.2) and Ana Marcela Cunha (1:58:19.5) stepped up for gold and silver while Germany's Angela Maurer (1:58:20.2) hung on for bronze. Great Britain's Danielle Huskisson finished 33rd in 2:01:35.5.

With nobody able to swim away on their own, the field was bunched throughout, particularly as swimmers turned round the marker buoys.

While Payne navigated the buoys expertly, emerging first as they turned round the final marker, she was dragged back into the pack as they returned for home.

And the Brit admitted she hadn't experienced such a physical open water race on the world stage before.

"The first few laps were absolutely fine and then all of a sudden it was absolute carnage," admitted Payne, who narrowly missed the podium in fourth in the 10km race at London 2012 last year.

"I’ve no idea how many places I lost going round one buoy, getting dunked, hit in the face and swam over. It’s not quite what I was hoping the swim would’ve been.

"The referees before the race said they were going to be really strict but I don’t think they were strict enough. The race didn’t need to be won by who has got the biggest elbows or who can dunk somebody the most. But maybe that’s just part of it and that’s the part that I’m not very good at.

“The focus for me this season was to get back in and enjoy training with a new club which I’ve done. It took a lot of energy but I made it here and came to Worlds which is what I wanted to do this season when this time last year, I wanted to throw the towel in."

Competing in just her second open water race, Huskisson (British Gas ITC Stirling) was in the top six throughout the first two circuits before tiring towards the business end of the race.

"Overall the first two laps felt pretty comfortable but during that third lap everybody came and toppled over the top of me and I couldn’t quite handle getting hit and pulled back - I was pretty exhausted by the end," admitted Huskisson.

"I think I needed to eat more. I was really nervous this morning so didn’t eat as much as I normally would and I had nothing left. I think next time I need to eat as much as I can and see if I can hold on."