At just 23, she had years in front of her to build on her success but will look back with great pride – becoming Great Britain’s first female to win Olympic gold in the pool in 48 years after triumphing in the 400m and 800m freestyle victories at the 2008 Beijing Games.
She went on to claim the 800m world title in 2011 and two Commonwealth Games gold medals in 2010, before winning two bronzes in London 2012.
“I have achieved everything I wanted to,” she said. “I’ve always said I wanted to finish on a high, despite my love of the sport.”
Other memorable events that took place on this day
1923: Bill Ponsford’s then worldrecord 429 helps Victoria become the first team to reach a four-figure total in first-class cricket. They scored 1,059 against Tasmania in Melbourne.
2004: Ernie Els fires 11 birdies as he cards a course-record 60 in the first round of the Heineken Classic at Royal Melbourne.
2014: David Beckham announces he has taken up the option to buy a new Major League Soccer franchise in Miami.
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