London 2012 Olympics: Rebecca Adlington considering retiring after Games

Adlington considering retirement after shot at Olympic gold


Gold: Rebecca Adlington has already won two gold medals

Gold: Rebecca Adlington has already won two gold medals

Rebecca Adlington has indicated she could retire this year if she has a successful Olympics – or if she fails to win a place on the British team.

The double gold medallist from the 2008 Olympics in Beijing will look to repeat her feats at the home Games in London, and more glory in the pool could persuade Adlington to finish her career on a high.

Adlington has also said she would 'probably' walk away from competitive swimming should she falter in the British Olympic trials.

The 22-year-old told The Times: 'It wouldn't have been the end of the world if I hadn't made Beijing because London 2012 was always the target, but this time if I don't make it I would have to reassess everything and would probably retire – I'd have to ask the question, 'Have I really got four more years left in me'.'

Should she qualify and then fail to match her expectations once the Olympics come around, Adlington would expect to carry on competing, saying: 'If it didn't go well, I may feel that there's unfinished business.'

Options: Adlington is thinking about life after the 2012 Olympics

Options: Adlington is thinking about life after the 2012 Olympics

Adlington, from Mansfield, surpassed most expectations in winning freestyle gold in the 400 metres and 800 metres four years ago in China.

A similar return from London, or the satisfaction she has done herself full justice, would seemingly be enough for Adlington to retire on, although she would fancy a poolside role with the British swimming team.

She said: 'If I'm happy that I've done what I can, I'd be ready… I would like to do more commentating, Strictly (Come Dancing) I'd love to do – and then I'd love to do the team manager's job for Britain. I think I'd have a lot to offer from the right perspective.'