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16th FINA World Championships

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Keri-Anne Payne: I want to qualify for the Olympics at the 2015 FINA World Championships

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23.07.2015, 19:28 Sport
2008 Olympic silver medallist, two-time world champion, European open water swimming champion, British athlete Keri-Anne Payne talked to a sports reporter of the OC's Press Office and revealed that she has not yet decided to end her sports career after the Olympics.

- How do you through the acclimatisation process in this new place?

- It was a long way to Kazan. We spent 23 hours in the trip. But after a sleep and a couple of trainings, we all got back to normal.

- Until now, women from Team GB on open water swimming have not tested the track. Do you think you need to hurry?

- Open water swimming is never predictable. We know that the situation may change every day: today and tomorrow can be different. So tomorrow we have training at the Kazanka Venue. Then we shall have a chance to watch men competition in 5 and 10 kilometres. So I think we have enough time to understand the track.  What really matters is the absence of strong undercurrents.

- The track is located in the historic centre of the city. Have you ever worked in such conditions?

- At the previous  World Championships in Barcelona, the competition was held in a harbour located in the historic part of the city. But the track back then had a lot of turns, now it's different. Here, we shall swim straightforward from one bank to another, and back. And I am very glad that we shall be able to see the beauty of the city, its historical part, because very often we do not see anything except for hotels and sports venues.

- How important is it for you to qualify for the Olympics, given that last time just a few seconds separated you from the gold medal of the Olympic Games?

- This has been a very interesting year for me. After the Olympic Games in London I was not sure whether I would stay in sports. Eight months later, I felt I started missing the emotions and adrenaline. And what I did instead was move from Manchester and Edinburgh, to change the sports team. I made up a three-year plan: first, to have a good rest. Today, it is very important for me to qualify for the Olympic Games at the World Championships. I do not even consider other possibilities. And third, finally I want to win the Olympics. Not just being a part of top ten, top five or whatever, but winning it.

- Is it correct to say that the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro could be the last competition in your career?

- I can't be sure. Before the Games in London, I kept saying I would leave once it's finished, and there was much talk about that. Followed by unnecessary pressure. I do not want to plan now. Anyway, after Brazil I shall take part in a few tournaments, but I am not ready to wait for four more years to take part in the 2020 Olympics.

- Will your husband, a former prominent swimmer David Curry, come to Kazan to support you?

 - No, unfortunately he is busy now. He will have to follow live broadcasting. But if I qualify for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, of which I actually have no doubt, he will have to come with me definitely. He'd better to do it (laughs).

- Who do you think are your main competitors for the gold medal in the marathon?

- The marathon distance is expected to be very harsh, because all the athletes are well prepared. Who are the competitors? For example, young athletes from Italy. They have little experience, but they are very speedy. Or the Brazilians. Think about it, they will have to qualify for the home Olympics. There are a number of good athletes from the Netherlands, and an Olympic champion from Hungary. So I can say that we shall experience a variety of tactics in the struggle for a place in the top ten. Everyone is looking to be at the Olympics!

Press Office of Organising Committee for 16th FINA World Championships