Sascha Kindred announces retirement after seventh gold in Rio

Seven-time Paralympic gold medallist Sascha Kindred has announced his retirement from competitive swimming.

The 39-year old is one of the most decorated British para-swimmers in history. He competed at six consecutive Paralympic Games between 1996 and 2016.

Kindred won SB6 100m Breaststroke silver on his debut at Atlanta 1996. He landed his first Paralympic golds over SB6 100m Breast and SM6 200m Individual Medley four years later in Sydney.

He repeated the Breast and IM double at both the 2004 and 2008 Paralympics. Competing at his fifth Games at London 2012, he won his 12th Paralympic medal with silver in the SM6 200m Individual Medley.

Last year, Kindred picked up his 13th prize – and seventh gold – as he set a world record in the SM6 200m IM final.

He also competed and won medals at all seven IPC Swimming World Championships since the inaugural event in 1994.

I never dreamt of being an international swimmer for over two decades

“After some long and hard decision making I have decided to call time on what has been a successful swimming career,” said Kindred.

“From learning to swim at 11 and making my major championship debut at 16 at the inaugural World Championships in Malta, I never dreamt of being an international swimmer for over two decades.

“Since swimming in Rio last September, I had been very much focused on continuing in the sport that has given me so much. Over the last couple of months I realised the physical and mental demands to be an elite athlete are becoming too much.

“There are a lot of people I would like to thank and far too many to name all. Particular mention has to go to the support I’ve had from my first coach Michelle Weltman who helped me learn to swim as a young boy in Stoke Newington.

“Also my current coach Emma Patrick who has supported me for the best part of 17 years.

“Finishing with 62 major championship medals and being seven-time Paralympic champion is something I’m very proud of.”