Open water swimmer Keri-Anne Payne, 24, achieved a silver medal in Beijing and will be going for gold at this year’s Olympic Games.
But she has her mum to thank for getting back in the water after the 2006 Commonwealth Games yielded no metal.
Having always been determined to succeed and having pushed herself to the limits, fourth place wasn’t enough for Keri-Anne and it was some time before she felt ready to dive back into her training for the 2008 Beijing games.
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“After coming fourth in the Commonwealth Games she was very disappointed in herself,” remembers her mum Pat. “We thought it was wonderful but she didn’t.
“As her mum I just had to sit by and be a shoulder to cry on, someone to talk to and help her get back into her training and back into the competitive side.”
Pat looks overwhelmed as she walks through Hyde Park, imagining her daughter arriving in August for her London 2012 Olympic competitions.
“It’s a very iconic place is Hyde Park, it’s hard to even concentrate on it sometimes.
“Knowing what she’s gone through. How hard she’s worked. It’s nerve wracking for the whole family really.”
Keri-Anne and her mum will be hoping for a repeat of her triumph in Beijing, where she achieved a silver medal for the 10km open water race.
“When she won the silver medal we opened bottles of champagne and danced out into the street and woke everyone up!” Pat says. Looking forward to August she adds, “It will be amazing, seeing all her hard work come together.”
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