SYDNEY, Australia, July 15. EAMON Sullivan has officially ended his swimming career, stating that the training required to continue at the elite level is too much for his injured shoulder to bear.
Swimming Australia issued a press release today announcing Sullivan’s retirement. It comes about a month after the 28-year-old withdrew from the Commonwealth Games with an injured shoulder. He had been keeping his options open for the Pan Pacific championships in late August, but Australians will not get to see one of their top stars on the Gold Coast next month.
Sullivan’s final race was a stellar one. He won the 50 free at the Australian nationals in April with a 21.65. At the time of the swim, it was the fastest time of 2014, though it has since dropped to number four on the world rankings.
“I think Eamon surprised a lot of people winning the 50m freestyle at Trials this year and gaining selection for the Commonwealth Games team, but that’s just really a testament to the quality of athlete that he is,” said Swimming Australia Performance Director Michael Scott in the press release.
Sullivan’s success in the pool reached its height in 2008, when he set and reset the world records in the 50 and 100 long course freestyles. At the 2008 Olympics, he broke the world record in the 100 free twice leading off the 400 free relay and during a 100 free semifinal. He was unable to capture Olympic gold, placing second in the 100 free and winning silver in the 400 medley relay and bronze in the 400 free relay.
In the years since, he remained the country’s top sprinter with appearances at the 2010 Pan Pacific championships, 2011 world championships and 2012 Olympics. He sat out 2009 to deal with shoulder issues, and managed to put up top times after multiple surgeries.
His final major international medal came at the 2011 world championships, when he helped the Aussies win gold in the 400 free relay.