Swimming: Rebecca Adlington calls time on golden Olympic career
Monday 24 September 2012
Rebecca Adlington has confirmed she does not expect to compete at a third Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in four years' time. The four-time Olympic medallist had cast doubt on her future after completing the London Games and even though those close to her insist no final decision has been made there is little prospect of her swimming in Brazil.
Adlington has made no definitive announcement on her future and it remains possible that the bronze she earned in the 800m freestyle in London last month will prove to have been her final race. She suggested that she may continue to the Commonwealth Games – she is an ambassador for Glasgow 2014 – but whether the 23-year-old has the appetite to return to full-time training for another two years remains to be seen. The next major event is the World Championships in Barcelona next summer.
Adlington won two bronze in London and after being outswum in the 800m, her favourite event, by the 15-year-old Katie Ledecky she gave a strong indication the end was in sight. She has now put that into plainer language.
"Rio is out of reach," she said on Saturday. "I'll be 27 then, and swimming, especially for distance swimmers, is a young person's game.
"Do I want to carry on and not get any faster? The answer is no. If I was a sprinter then I would go to Rio. But I don't have an ounce of sprinting in me, and that's why my Olympics are over."
As for the Commonwealth Games, Adlington will not compete in the 800m, the event in which she remains the world record holder and which she won so spectacularly in Beijing. "If I were to race in Glasgow – and that's an if – then it would be in the 200m and 400m but definitely not the 800m," she added. "I'm done with that distance."
Adlington is currently on a break from the sport. Yesterday she left for a week's holiday before going to Zambia to take part in a charity cycle ride. Her agent and her mother both insisted yesterday that she has yet to make a final decision.
With her two golds from Beijing and four medals from four finals, Adlington is Britain's greatest Olympic swimmer of the modern era. But at 27 by the time of Rio and after a London Games that saw the emergence of a raft of teenage talent, she is all too aware of the realities of her sport.
Geoffrey Macnab reviews American Hustle, also starring Christian Bale and Bradley Cooper
Dennis Rodman will coach the North Korea basketball team
Latest in Sport
Arsenal can surprise Bayern Munich in the Champions League, says former midfielder Gilberto Silva
Transfer news: Liverpool - January transfer targets
Transfer news: Manchester United - January transfer targets
Transfer news: Chelsea - January transfer targets
Transfer news: Arsenal - Transfer targets for January
- 1 America's 'virgin births'? One in 200 mothers 'became pregnant without having sex'
- 2 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 3 Christmas comes early: Justin Bieber is 'retiring from music'
- 4 Iain Duncan Smith leaves Commons food banks debate early
- 5 Children evacuated from swimming pool after prosthetic leg mistaken for paedophile
Exclusive: Young people ‘want UK to stay in Europe’: Four in 10 adults aged 18 to 24 are ‘firmly in favour’ of membership, poll shows
Tom Daley ‘is gay because his father died’ says UK evangelist
You can STILL be jailed for being a republican, government confirms, and it remains illegal to even 'imagine' overthrowing the Queen
Kiss and yell: Italian protester charged with sexual assault after kissing riot police officer
Fighting back: the woman giving a voice (and 49,999 others) to the victims of sexism - by giving an airing to their horror stories
PM denies two child limit for benefits is part of Tory welfare policy
£6.31 per day: Inspiring Interns: One of the biggest names in sport is offerin...
£500 - £650 per day: Harrington Starr: Harrington Starr is working with a Glob...
£27000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Junior Consultant (Excel, Financial Spread...
£34999 - £43001 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: A Top 10 firm in ...