Jackson announces retirement

Hereford Times: Joanne Jackson claimed a bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Games Joanne Jackson claimed a bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Games

Olympic bronze medallist and former 400 metres freestyle world record-holder Joanne Jackson has announced her retirement from competitive swimming.

Jackson, who won bronze in the 400m freestyle at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, broke the world record en route to qualifying for the 2009 World Championships, where she won silver.

The 26-year-old said: "I feel so lucky to have been able to compete to an international level for so many years and to have been to three Olympic Games. I would like to thank everyone who has supported me along the way.

"I have been fortunate to have some great sponsors who stuck with me through all the ups and downs and British Swimming, coaches and the support team have been awesome.

"I'm now looking at new opportunities to start a Swim Academy and begin a brand new career in events."

British Swimming national performance director Michael Scott praised Jackson's achievements and her dedication to the sport.

"To be a three-time Olympian, an Olympic, world, European and Commonwealth medallist, and to have set a world record over 400m freestyle in 2009 are all outstanding achievements," Scott said.

"On behalf of all at British Swimming I would like to wish Jo all the best in her new endeavours."

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