DOUBLE world open-water champion Keri-anne Payne has announced she has left Stockport ITC for Edinburgh.
Payne, who was fourth in the 10-kilometres race at the 2012 Olympics four years after claiming silver in Beijing, is joining her new husband – London 400 metres freestyle finalist David Carry – who has taken a job in Scotland after retiring from the sport.
Payne, who joined Stockport Metro from Rochdale Aquabears after moving from South Africa, will return to pool swimming, and is as yet undecided whether she will train with Warrender Baths Club or the University of Edinburgh.
She said: “The time is right for a change. It’s the start of a new Olympic training cycle and the start of a new stage in our lives as a married couple so it is the right decision.
“That said, it was a hard decision to make. I’ve trained at Stockport Metro for over nine years and the club has done a huge amount for me. The facilities, the swimmers and especially the coaches Sean (Kelly) and Lars (Humer) have been fantastic. I have made some friends for life.”
However, she told the BBC: “It just seemed so silly for us to be separate and for me to stay at Stockport with David up here and then only see each other on weekends, when we just got married.
“I am so excited about the move to Edinburgh. It’s something new, it’s a complete change and it’s one of the most beautiful cities. I absolutely love it.”
Payne is unsure whether she will return to open water swimming next year in a bid to reach the 2013 World Championships in Barcelona but will make a decision before the British trials in March.
“There is no open water in 2014, which puts a bit of a spanner in the works for me because that’s my main event and my main focus,” she added. “So I’ll try for the pool and see how it goes.”