SYDNEY, Nov 22. AUSTRALIAN former world champion Hayley Lewis announced her retirement on Wednesday, abandoning her dream to compete at a fourth Olympics.
The 27-year-old Lewis, who made a comeback to compete at last year's Sydney Olympics after taking time off to have a baby, said she decided to hang up her goggles after FINA decided not to include open water swimming at the 2004 Athens Games.
"FINA made the decision they were not going to have it in 2004 so there wasn't any real goal for me to keep swimming for so I decided to call it a day," Lewis said. Lewis, who has a three-year-old son Jacob, said she wanted to focus her energies on raising more children.
Lewis burst onto the world stage as a 16-year-old when she won five gold medals at the 1990 Commonwealth Games in Auckland. She won the 200 meter freestyle at the 1991 world championships in Perth then collected silver and bronze medals at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
Lewis took a break after illness caused her to miss out on a place in the final at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and had a baby, but she made a comeback and was selected for the Australian team at last year's Sydney Olympics.
Switching to long-distance swimming, Lewis won a bronze medal at this year's world championships in Fukuoka, Japan but decided to quit when the event was left off the Athens program.