Time was right to bow out, says Rebecca Adlington
DOUBLE Olympic champion Rebecca Adlington believes quitting while at the top was the perfect time to bow out of competitive swimming.
The two-time gold medallist at Beijing 2008 also won two bronze at the home Olympic Games last summer.
It made her the most successful British swimmer of all time, having already been crowned a world, Commonwealth and European champion.
But the 23-year-old announced yesterday she was calling time on her swimming career – and now aims to get youngsters into the sport.
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Mansfield ace Adlington, who has had a six-month break since London 2012 before making her decision, said: "I have achieved everything I ever wanted to achieve and more. It just feels like the perfect time to end on a high.
"When I was 12 I always said I wanted to finish on a high and not drag it out and I wanted to stick to that."
But Adlington said it would be hard to stop getting in the water for fitness, given her love of the sport.
"I hate the word retired so, personally, I don't want to say that word, because I would never retire from swimming in general. I will always swim, I will be swimming when I am 90," she said.
"But as a competitor and elite athlete, I will not be racing anymore. That is over."
Through her SwimStars initiative, she has a vision of ensuring every child can swim 25 metres when they leave primary school.
"That is the goal of mine and it will be a lot of hard work and take time but it is something that would be great to help achieve," she said.