Three-Time European Champion Molly Renshaw Retires After An 11-Year Career Following Debut At 15

03 molly-renshaw-200-breast-semifinal-2019-wc-by Becca Wyant2
Molly Renshaw: Pic Courtesy: Becca Wyant

Three-Time European Champion Molly Renshaw Retires After An 11-Year Career Following Debut At 15

Three-time European champion Molly Renshaw has announced her retirement after a senior career that spanned two Olympics and 11 years following her international debut aged 15.

The 26-year-old leaves the pool with five medals across four European Championships between 2014 and 2020 and having made four trips to the podium across three Commonwealth Games, most recently at Birmingham 2022 where her bronze with Team England‘s women’s medley relay was the final medal of her career.

She won the world short-course title in the 200 in 2016 as well as bronze five years later in Abu Dhabi.

Renshaw also reached two individual Olympic finals, finishing sixth in the 200m breaststroke at Rio 2016 and Tokyo five years later.

Molly Renshaw Glasgow 2021

Molly Renshaw: Photo Courtesy: Georgie Kerr, British Swimming

The latter came after Renshaw equalled the British record of 2:22.08 at the Manchester International Meet in March.

She obliterated that mark a month later when she went 2:20.89 at the British Swimming Selection Meet for Tokyo before going on to win the European title in Budapest where she also claimed gold with the women’s medley relay.

She also set the British 100br record of 1:06.21 in the semis in the Hungarian capital before going on to finish fifth in the final as Britain finished top of the medal table.

Renshaw made her British debut aged 15 at the 2011 World Championships in Shanghai, the first of five World Championships in which she reached five individual finals and one with the British women’s medley relay.

Fifth over 200 at Gwangju 2019 was her best result and this year she reached both the 100 and 200 finals in Budapest, finishing eighth and sixth respectively.

As well as bronze in the medley relay, her final competition saw her claim two fourth-place finishes at July’s Commonwealth Games.

Renshaw is now looking forward to new challenges away from the pool and said through British Swimming:

“It’s really sad to let the sport go, but I think it’s the right time for me. I have to be a little selfish and move on with my life.

“I never really dreamed of achieving this much in the sport – to have gone to two Olympics and numerous World Championships, European Championships and Commonwealth Games, it’s just been an absolute dream.

“I’m now really excited for the next chapter of my life now, whatever that holds, something completely different and to be out of the water for a bit!”

Molly Renshaw

Molly Renshaw; Photo Courtesy: Georgie Kerr, British Swimming

She also paid tribute to everyone who played a role in her career, adding:

“I just want to say a massive thank you to everyone who has supported me over the years. I have had the best support network I could ever have dreamed of at Loughborough. We’ve got world-class facilities and the staff are absolutely world class as well.

“Obviously a massive thank you to Dave (Hemmings), my coach, he has coached me for the past six years, and to everyone else – whether that is physios, strength and conditioning, sports analysis team.

“Everyone has, in some kind of way, been a contribution to my career and my success, and I definitely wouldn’t be where I am without them.

“I want to say a massive thank you to my family and friends. My family are the reason I am where I am today – without my parents driving me to training at silly o’clock in the morning, I definitely wouldn’t have achieved what I have over the years, so they are a massive part of this.

“The athletes I’ve had the pleasure to work with over the past 10 years, they’ve made a massive contribution as well. Surrounding yourself with a really good team is key to success.

“I am so grateful that, over the past 10 years, I’ve had an amazing network and such amazing facilities.”

British Swimming performance director Chris Spice paid tribute to Renshaw, saying:

“Molly’s contribution to British Swimming has been exemplary throughout her decade with us. She has become one of our most experienced athletes and has always been a consistent performer, in and out of the water. She was a great ‘racer’ who came to life in the arena.

“Her achievement of medals at World, European and Commonwealth level are something she should be very proud of, as well as the senior role she has taken in recent years as a wealth of talent has come through the ranks on the women’s side of our team. All at British Swimming will wish Molly the best for whatever comes next.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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