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Renshaw says she will ‘treasure memories and moments’ as she announces retirement

Olympian and world, European and Commonwealth multi-medallist Molly Renshaw has called time on her 11-year swimming career.

The 26-year-old is a three-time European champion, the first of which she won in 2016, which was the same year she was crowned world short course champion.

She has won four Commonwealth medals, most recently as part of the Women’s bronze medal-winning 4x100m Medley relay team at this year’s home Games in Birmingham.

Renshaw has also represented Team GB twice, at both the Rio 2016 and the rearranged Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

In an interview with Swim England ahead of Birmingham 2022, Renshaw explained that to ‘end it on a home Games would be really special’. Exactly three months on from the closing ceremony of the Games and that moment had arrived.

The Loughborough National Centre athlete then took to social media following the ‘emotional’ announcement.

She wrote: “I am so unbelievably grateful for the experiences and support I have received during my career.

“I could only have ever dreamed of making my first senior international debut aged 15 at the 2011 World Championships in Shanghai and go on to represent my country at numerous international majors for the 11 years that followed this.

“Looking back, I am so proud of what I have achieved. It’s been a bumpy ride but the people I’ve had alongside me have made this rollercoaster so much easier.

“Swimming has always come naturally to me and I fell in love with the water at a very young age, but I never imagined this passion would ultimately shape me over the following 20 years into the person that I am today.

“Swimming has taught me so many life lessons and skills. Most importantly, I have learned to enjoy the journey and be forever grateful for the wonderful people and the places I have been able to explore thanks to this sport.

“I’ve been unbelievably lucky that I have always been surrounded by world class athletes who also happen to be some of the most caring and beautiful people you could imagine.”

Renshaw paid tribute to coaches Andi Manley, Kevin Renshaw and Dave Hemmings, as well as the support staff at Loughborough.

Andi, for helping her achieve her first senior international debut, followed by numerous national, European and world junior medals.

Kevin, for helping her ‘understand the commitment and dedication it takes to reach the top’ which resulted in her first Olympic final and breaking her first British record.

And her most recent coach and ‘technical genius’, Dave, who she describes as ‘an outstanding coach’ and ‘an amazing friend’.

Renshaw has worked with Hemmings since 2016, a time which she defines as the most successful of her career as she claimed world and European gold in the 200m Breaststroke and broke almost 10 British records during that time.

She continued: “Everyone at British Swimming has provided world class support as well as a friendly face in the most daunting of times and I can’t thank everyone enough for that.

“My Loughborough family may have changed a lot over my years there but the people I have been lucky enough to train, travel and compete with has been an absolute blessing.

“I will forever treasure the memories and moments that we have all had together.

“Finally, I want to thank my family and friends who are ultimately the reason I was lucky enough to pursue this dream.

“Without the dedication from my parents driving me back and forth to training at silly o’clock in the morning and spending countless hours on hot poolsides, I wouldn’t have been able to share so many special memories with them over the years.

“They have been the perfect role models in my life and have shaped me into the person I am today.

“From the bottom of my heart, thank you so much for everyone’s support and love over the years. It means the absolute world to me and I love you all very dearly.

“I’m so excited for this next chapter of my life and to explore what life outside the pool holds for me.”