Australia's Olympic gold swimmer Leisel Jones retires
SYDNEY (AFP) –
Australian triple Olympic gold medallist Leisel Jones on Friday retired from swimming, saying she had achieved all she ever could in the sport after her fourth Games in London.
Champion breaststroker Jones, 27, said she had spent the months after the Olympics considering her future and decided to pull the plug on a career which spanned more than a dozen years.
“It’s a very hard decision to come to and I took my time after London to make sure it was the right decision for me,” she told reporters.
“I’ve come to the conclusion that I’ve ticked every single box that I have ever wanted to in my career and there is nothing more that I could ever achieve. So I am very happy with my career.”
Jones said the decision had nothing to do with media criticism in the lead-up to London that the former world breaststroke record holder was overweight and not taking her fourth Olympics seriously.
“This decision came from a personal place,” she said.
“I’ve done everything I’ve ever wanted; there is no more I could have achieved. I’m very happy with my London performance, it’s better than I ever could have imagined.”
Jones, the first Australian swimmer to qualify for four Olympics, won a silver medal in the 4x100m medley relay in London. She came fifth in the 100m breaststroke.
Over the course of her career she won nine Olympic medals, including three gold — two in Beijing in 2008 in the 100m breaststroke and 4x100m medley and one in Athens in 2004 in the 4x100m medley.
She also bagged 10 Commonwealth Games gold medals, seven World Championship gold medals and 23 national long course titles.
Jones, who began swimming at the age of just two, said she would always have a warm place in her heart for swimming and would like to continue helping youngsters in the sport.
But she insisted: “I’m not one for comebacks.”
Jones said she may study a psychology course at university next year.