Becky Adlington retires: ‘I wanted to go out at the top.’

Rebecca Adlington bronze at London Olympics 400metres freestyle
Rebecca Adlington bronze at London Olympics 400metres freestyle

MANSFIELD swimming sensation Becky Adlington says she wanted to go out at the top after announcing her retirement from the sport this morning.

The four-time Olympic medalist confirmed that she is hanging up her goggles to concentrate on her charity work and coaching upcoming swimming talent.

Adlington has hinted at retirement in recent months despite winning two bronze medals at London 2012, following her double gold in Beijing in 2008.

She bows out as Britain’s most successful swimmer of the modern era having won Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth titles.

In recent months she has recently criticised the governing body British Swimming over their review of the team’s below-par performance at London 2012.

Adlington, who turns 24 later this month, has been taking time out from the sport since claiming two of only three medals won by Great Britain’s swimming team in London, when British Swimming had a target of five.

Making the announcement at a press conference in London, she said she had achieved everything she wanted to in competitive swimming.

“I love swimming but as a competitive element and elite athlete I won’t compete any more,” she said.

“Some people want to milk it all they can. I’ve always said I wanted to finish on a high, despite my love of the sport.

“I can’t do the same level of work, I need far more time for recovery. Beijing changed my entire life, everyone wanted to learn about me. It was the best moment of my entire career. I am so glad my world record still stands.”