South African swimming champion Suzaan van Biljon has retired from competitive swimming, according to South African swimming site ZwemZa.
Van Biljon’s most famous international accomplishment came at the 2008 Summer Olympics, where she placed 5th in prelims of the 100 breaststroke before stumbling in the semi’s and failing to advance.
She ended up stepping away from the sport after that for two years, before returning to swim at the 2011 World Championship Trials, to much excitement.
Van Biljon’s return ultimately didn’t gain much steam in terms of publicity, but it was quietly stunningly-successful. She finished 7th at the 2012 London Olympics, making her the only female South African swimmer to make a final. Her top time at that meet would’ve contended for a medal four years earlier, but she happened to run into one of the better eras in the 200 breaststroke the sport has seen.
She was also the 2008 Short Course World Champion in the 200 breaststroke.
In a letter sent out on Thursday, van Biljon said that she will “dearly miss the people, facilities and positivity around Tuks and HPC. One day I hope to be part of Tuks in some way again.”
Van Biljon retires as the African Record holder in the 200 long course breaststroke, with a 2:23.21 done at the 2012 Olympics, as well as the 100 and 200 in short course meters.