BERLIN, Germany, September 27. ANOTHER Olympian is ending a successful career in the pool, as German sprinter Britta Steffen announced her retirement this morning.
Steffen won two gold medals at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, and was part of the 4×200 freestyle relay that won a bronze medal at the 2000 Games in Sydney. She also won nine medals at the World Championships and 23 European Championship medals and has been holding the world records both in the 50 freestyle with 23.73 and the 100 freestyle with 52.07 since the 2009 World Championships in Rome, making her one of Germany’s most decorated swimmers.
Steffen’s management released a statement for the world record holder, which said in part: “I doubted in recent weeks if I could muster the necessary motivation and energy to one or even three more years in the fight for gold medals and championships.”
Steffen had already considered retirement back in 2010 when a shoulder injury forced her to take a 15-month break from swimming, but she kept with the sport.
After a disappointing result at this summer’s World Championships in Barcelona, several German news outlets had already suspected a retirement from Steffen, but nothing was said about it by the swimmer herself.
Swimming World Germany correspondent Pam Roberts contributed to this report