British Swimming superstar Fran Halsall has announced her retirement from competitive swimming after a decade at the top level of the sport.
“Announcing my retirement from swimming is a weird concept to me as I’ve never seen it as a career or a job,” Halsall Tweeted out early Monday morning. “Just as a hobby that I’ve loved doing and happen to be ok at. However I’ve done it for a decade and there are so many people who have committed time, money, wisdom and knowledge into my journey that I will forever be thankful for.
“Stepping away from the pool is quite a scary decision for someone whos [sic] whole adult life to date has revolved around swim, weights, diet, peeing in a pot while someone watches, outdoor swim camps (yey) and lots of napping. I am very much looking forward to the next chapter of my life and the normality of eating and drinking what I want, the only time someone watches me pee is when I leave the door open by accident and the dog comes in and experiencing the mythical bank holidays. I will miss my daily naps and choosing to do sets backstroke while training outdoors just to get an even tan it’s time to close this chapter of my life and move on to the next.
“Swimming has taught me so much and given me opportunities that no other career could. So for me this is just a thank you note to everyone who has supported me for being part of a fantastic set of memories.”
Swimming done. ✅???????? pic.twitter.com/RDj0jicsV4
— francesca halsall (@franhalsall) January 16, 2017
The 26-year old Halsall competed for Great Britain at the 2008, 2012, and 2016 Olympic Games. Her closest run at a medal came in Rio in the 50 free, her only race at her last Olympic Games. In that race, Halsall led for 45 meters, but eventually succumbed to a 4th-place finish, placing just .02 seconds away from the podium and .06 seconds away from gold.
Her career did include 9 World Championship medals – of which 3 came in long course. She was the silver medalist in the 100 free in 2009 in Rome and the bronze medalist in the 50 free in 2013 in Barcelona. In 2015, she took her only World Championship gold when Great Britain won the 400 mixed medley relay – which still stands as the World Record in the recently-recognized event.
Halsall’s resume also includes 10 European Championship gold medals, 3 Commonwealth Games gold medals, and a total of 38 podium finishes at major international events. She retires with 14 British Records, 3 European Records, and a World Record between the long course and short course pools.
Halsall’s records upon retirement:
- 50 free – 23.96
- 100 free – 52.87
- 50 fly – 25.20
- 400 free relay – 3:35.72 (second leg, fastest split, 53.17)
- 400 medley relay – 3:56.96 (freestyle leg, 53.53)
- 400 mixed medley – 3:41.71 (anchor leg, 53.77 – WORLD RECORD)
- 50 free – 23.44
- 100 free – 51.19 – EUROPEAN RECORD
- 200 free – 1:53.79
- 50 fly – 25.29
- 100 fly – 55.71
- 400 free relay – 3:32.88 (leadoff leg, fastest split, 52.36)
- 200 medley relay – 1:46.56 (backstroke leg, 27.18)
- 400 medley relay – 3:51.85 (freestyle leg, 51.99)
- Mixed 200 medley relay -1:37.46 (freestyle leg, 23.05 – EUROPEAN RECORD)