TWO of New Zealand’s top swimmers – Melissa Ingram and Carl O’Donnell – have announced their retirements.
Ingram, who is 27 and won medals at both the Commonwealth Games and world championships, is quitting after 10 years racing at international level.
She wants to begin a career in PR.
“It’s not a decision that I have made lightly,” Ingram told Fairfax NZ.
“My whole life has been dedicated to swimming, but I know that I have left no stone unturned and I leave the sport with no regrets.
“I always gave 100 percent. It’s been an incredible journey, full of highs and lows, and it’s shaped me into the person I am today.”
She won bronze in the 200m backstroke at the world short course championships in USA in 2004.
Ingram was a key member of the women’s 4x200m freestyle relay team that won gold at the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games, and broke the Commonwealth record in the 200m backstroke four years later in Delhi.
She also notched 44 podium finishes on the World Cup circuit.
“I’ve been so lucky throughout my career to have been supported by so many amazing people,” she said.
“My family have stuck by me through thick and thin, my parents always ready to reach back into their wallets to pay for another suit or overseas trip in my younger years. My friends and team-mates always had my back and my coaches consistently went the extra mile to help me.”
O’Donnell, 25, raced at the London Olympics.
Swimming New Zealand praised the accomplishments of both swimmers.
“Both Melissa and Carl have made a real mark on the sport in this country for many years and they can both be proud of what they have achieved both in and out of the pool,” Swimming New Zealand general manager Mark O’Connor said.