Published: Sunday September 23, 2012 MYT 6:47:00 PM
Adlington declines chance to compete at 2016 Games
LONDON: Double Olympic champion Rebecca Adlington says she will not compete at the 2016 Rio Games but would like to play a secondary role for her country as the British star winds down her hugely successful career.
The 23-year-old became a household name following the 2008 Beijing Games, when she became the first British swimmer to win two gold medals at the same Olympics since 1908 by taking the 400m and 800m freestyle titles, but says Rio is a step too far.
"Rio is out of reach. I'll be 27 by then, and swimming, especially for distance swimmers, is a young person's game," Adlington told the Mail on Sunday after recently adding 400m and 800m bronze to her Olympic achievements in London.
"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."
She is undecided whether she will compete at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow but if she does, she will likely drop down to the shorter distances.
"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. I'm done with that distance," continued Adlington who pulled off the 400m/800m double at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Dehli.
"I'd like to be in Rio, though, even if I'm just a fan. Hopefully I can be a bit more than that, like a mentor, or have some kind of official or unofficial role with the British swimming team. All I know is that three Olympics is one too many for me."- AFP