After this season, Australian National Team member and Olympic gold medalist Bronte Barratt has announced her decision to hang up the suit and goggles.
The 27-year-old Aussie first made international headlines at the 2006 Melbourne World Short Course Championships where she claimed a gold medal in the 800m free relay and silver in the 400m free. In that same year, Barratt competed in her first Commonwealth Games and earned another gold in the 800m free relay and bronze in the 400m free.
She is also remembered for knocking off Tracey Wickham’s 29-year-old 400m free record at the 2007 Japan Open. The standard at the time was the longest existing Commonwealth and Australian record in swimming. She currently holds two of Australian swimming’s fastest 2016 long course times with her 1:55.74 200m free and 4:03.52 400m free both ranking third on the list.
Barratt leaves the sport with Olympic hardware as well, her participation on the Australian 800m free relay in Beijing garnered a gold medal and a World Record. By the same token, the then 19-year-old broke an Australian national record in the finals of the 400m free. Four years later in London, Barratt took home bronze in the 200m free and silver on the Aussie 800m free relay.
Since London, she’s picked up top-three finishes at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and Australian Championships while nursing a scoliosis diagnosis. The condition and Aussie coaching legend Michael Bohl limited her to the 200m free in 2014, but halving the distance of her signature event provides another chance to be competitive on the Olympic stage.
Before then Barratt must compete next week April 7-14 at the 2016 Hancock Prospecting Australian Swimming Championships to earn her place on the Olympic team alongside the country’s youngsters and fellow veterans.