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Aus swimming ace Jones calls it a day

Melbourne, Nov 16, 2012, Reuters: 23:09 IST
Triple Olympic champion Leisel Jones has retired from the pool at the age of 27, after swimming a record fourth Games for Australia at London.

Jones, who won selection at the age of 14 for the 2000 Sydney Games, signed off at London with a silver in the 4x100 metre medley, her ninth Olympic medal matching the Australian record haul of Ian Thorpe.

"It's a very hard decision to come to and I took my time after London to make sure it was the right decision," the specialist breaststroker told reporters.

"And I have come to the conclusion that I ticked every single box that I ever wanted to in my career and there is nothing more that I could ever achieve."

Born in Katherine, a remote rural town in northern Australia, Jones was discovered by former coach Ken Wood at a Brisbane pool where her mother worked as a cleaner.

Jones burst onto the world scene as a 15-year-old at the Sydney Games, winning silver in the 100M breaststroke and 4x100 medley to become her country's youngest Olympic medallist. Her achievements brought crushing pressure along with instant celebrity, however, and she was savaged by Australian media after her failure to win individual gold at the 2004 Athens Games.

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