Joanne Jackson, Olympic bronze medallist over 400m freestyle in the Beijing 2008 final won by Britain teammate Rebecca Adlington, has retired from competitive swimming.
After winning silver medals in the 400m and 800m freestyle at the 2009 World Championships, Jackson broke the world short-course record over 400m freestyle. The standard fell to Camille Muffat of France last weekend.
Based in Derwentside with coach Dave McNulty and then at Loughborough with McNulty and then coaches Kevin Renshaw and Ben Titley, Jackson made her Olympic debut in Athens aged 17. She made her international breakthrough in 2006 when she claimed silver medals at both the European Championships and Commonwealth Games.
Her career took a downturn after she suffered serious asthma problems over winter in 2009/10 at a time when the sport returned to textile suits only and workloads in training were all the more demanding because of it. There were times when Jackson broke ribs with the effort she was putting in.
Jackson, 25, said: “I feel so lucky to have been able to compete to an international 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’m now looking at new opportunities to start a Swim Academy and begin a brand new career in Events.”
Michael Scott, British Swimming National Performance Director for three more days before he leaves his post, added: “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. On behalf of all at British Swimming, I would like to wish Jo all the best in her new endeavours.”