As reported last week, five-time Olympian and 19-year veteran of the Finnish National Team Hanna-Maria Seppala has retired after one last go-around at the Short Course World Championships in Windsor.
In a career that was highlighted by a 2003 LC World title in the 100 freestyle, Seppala also won international medals at the SC World Championships, LC European Championships and SC European Championships. By the age of 10 she made the Finnish Junior National team, and won her first international medal at the age of 15 at the 1999 European Junior Championships in the 50 free. Her best Olympic performance came in 2008, where she placed 4th in the 100 freestyle.
Here in Windsor, Seppala competed in the 50 free, 100 free, 50 back and 50 fly, with her top finish coming in at 21st in the 100 free just a week before her 32nd birthday. Her final swim came this morning in the women’s 4×100 medley relay, anchoring in 53.82 as the Finns placed 12th.
She paved the way for female swimming in Finland, and now gives way to the next generation of swimmers that includes Jenna Laukkanen, Silja Kansakoski and Fanny Teijonsalo.