Other Sport

Adlington calls time on career

2013-02-05 13:13
Rebecca Adlington (File)

London - Double Olympic champion Rebecca Adlington announced Tuesday her retirement from competitive swimming at the age of 23.

The popular Briton won two gold medals at the Beijing Games in 2008 but could only muster two bronze medals at London 2012 as the host nation's swimmers managed a disappointing three medals between them in the pool.

She said now was the right time to quit as she could no longer keep pace with a younger generation of swimmers.

"I hate the word retire," Adlington said. "I love swimming but as a competitive element and elite athlete I won't compete any more.

"I'll always be swimming even when I am 90 years old."

However, Adlington added: "I certainly can't compete with that (younger swimmers). I can't do the same level of work, I need far more time for recovery.

"It's time. Beijing changed my entire life, everyone wanted to learn about me. It was the best moment of my entire career," insisted Adlington, who in 2008 won Olympic gold in both the 400 metres and 800m freestyle.

Adlington, from Mansfield, central England, also thanked her family and her coach Bill Furniss, who on Monday was appointed as the new head coach of British Swimming.

"I couldn't have done it without my family. Even my sisters, they helped me with my homework.

"Bill is the biggest thing....he has helped me as an athlete as much as a person."

Adlington first came to international attention by taking silver in the 800m freestyle at the 2006 European Championships.

Since then, she has won Olympic, world, European and Commonwealth titles.

In Beijing, she became Britain's first female double gold medallist in swimming and took the 800m freestyle in a world record time of 8 minutes 14.10 seconds, a mark that still stands.

But there have been low points as well with Adlington, following the euphoria and publicity that greeted her unexpected triumph in China, only finishing fourth in the 800m a year later at the 2009 World Championships in Rome.

And in London a clearly emotional Adlington felt she had let her country down after failing to defend either of her Olympic titles and having to settle for two bronze medals instead.

However, the podium ceremony at the 800m saw an enthusiastic crowd chant her name, a reception that moved Adlington to tears.

Read more on:    swimming


Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Love 2 Meet

Got something you'd like to get off your chest? Got a burning desire to air an opinion? If so, be sure to sign-up on Sport24's FORUM!

Latest blogs

How much of a runner are you?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.