On This Day in 2013: Rebecca Adlington retires from competitive swimming

The double Olympic and Commonwealth champion called time on her career at the age of 23.

Pa Sport Staff
Sunday 05 February 2023 10:00 GMT
Rebecca Adlington competed at two Olympic Games for Great Britain (Julien Behal/PA)
Rebecca Adlington competed at two Olympic Games for Great Britain (Julien Behal/PA) (PA Archive)

Double Olympic champion Rebecca Adlington announced her retirement from competitive swimming on this day in 2013.

Adlington, a two-time winner at the Beijing Games, called time on her career months after she had won two bronze medals at her home Olympics in London.

Aged only 23, Adlington went on to end the year by appearing in ‘I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!’ before becoming a regular pundit for the BBC.

It was the 2008 Olympics where the Mansfield-born swimmer came to prominence with a record-breaking Games.

Adlington won both the 400-metre freestyle and 800-metre freestyle in Beijing to become Britain’s first Olympic swimming champion since 1988.

Further records were achieved with the teenager’s time of 8:14.10 in the 800-metre final breaking Janet Evans’ 19-year record while her double gold-medal win made her the first British swimmer to achieve that feat in 100 years.

More medals would be won at the 2009 World Aquatics Championships in Rome with Adlington claiming two bronzes before she clinched the 400-metre freestyle at the European Swimming Championships in Budapest the following year.

At the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi she repeated her Olympic double with golds in the 400-metre freestyle and 800-metre freestyle events.

More gold-medal success was achieved at the World Aquatics Championships in 2011 but Adlington had to be content with two third-place finishes in her home Olympics in London before she retired from the sport.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in