25-year old British swimmer Ellie Faulkner has announced her retirement from competitive swimming. The 2012 and 2016 Olympian is coming off the most successful international season of her career: she won 3 bronze medals at the Commonwealth Games in April, followed by a gold as part of the UK’s 800 free relay at the European Championships in Glasgow.
Faulkner finished 22nd in the 800 free at the 2012 Olympic Games, and more lately has been focused on the 200 and 400 freestyles. She finished 32nd individually in the 200 free in Rio, and also swam a leg on the UK’s 9th-place 800 free relay.
Representing England at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, she won bronze medals on the 400 free relay and 800 free relay, as well as an individual bronze in the 400 free in 4:07.35. That added to a 4th bronze won with England’s 800 free relay at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
She then split 1:59.25 to lead off Great Britain’s 800 free relay, which won gold at the European Championships in 7:51.65. That British relay wound up ranked 5th in the world in the 2017-2018 long course season.
Faulkner wasn’t able to hit any individual lifetime bests in 2018, though she hit several in the 100 free (54.88), 200 free (1:56.76) and 400 free (4:06.90) at the Swim England Winter Championships in December of 2017.
Faulkner’s full statement:
“So after an amazing career, I have made the decision to retire from competitive swimming. I can honestly say the sport has created many ups and downs but it has helped me have the drive and determination I have today and for the future.
“Looking back on my time in the sport and the opportunities it has given me, I am lucky to have traveled the world doing something I love. I have achieved so much more in swimming than I ever dreamed of, having competed i n two Olympic Games, one being a home games, World Championships, becoming a Commonwealth Medalist 4 times and then European Champion I couldn’t be prouder.
“I am now looking forward ot the next chapter of my life and walk away with great pride and a love for the sport that will always remain. There are many people who deserve recognition for their belief, commitment and support toward my goals and to me. Russ for his guidance and expertise. Shep, Dave, Dan, Karen and Mike and all the people I have worked closely with for your help too.
“A massive Thank you to the City of Sheffield Swim Squad for their ongoing support over the past 18 years and (Funkita Swimwear) for opening doors to the future. Thank you to everyone who has followed my journey up until now and has supported me throughout. Lastly to my Mum, Dad, brother Joe and the rest of my family as without your support none of this would have been possible.”