BERLIN, October 10. GERMANY's Hannah Stockbauer, who won five individual World Championship gold medals, announced her retirement from swimming today at the age of 23, according to a story in today's "Nurnberger Nachrichten."
"I will not return. My decision is final," she told the newspaper.
Stockbauer won the 800 and 1500-meter freestyle events in Fukuoka in 2001. She followed with wins in the 400, 800 and 1500 in Barcelona two years later.
Named Swimming World's female "World Swimmer of the Year" for 2003, she arrived at the Athens Olympics as the favorite in the 400 and 800 meters but fizzled, winning only a bronze in the 800 free relay.
Still, Stockbauer's 16:00.18 for the 1500-meters ranks her second all-time behind Janet Evans.