British 200m breaststroke record holder Kris Gilchrist has announced his retirement from competitive swimming.
Gilchrist, a former world short course champion who has trained at the British Gas Intensive Training Centre (ITC) Bath at the Universtiy of Bath for the last 18 months, first competed internationally in 2006, winning bronze medals at the European Championships and the Commonwealth Games for Scotland.
He went on to become 200m breaststroke World Short Course Champion in 2008 and still holds the British long course record for the distance.
“I still love the sport but my body won’t take it anymore,” said Gilchrist who narrowly missed out on a berth at this year’s Olympic Games. “I know that the time is right for me and I am confident it is the right decision. The Commonwealth Games in Glasgow are just a little bit too far away.
“I am happy to stop at a time when I still love swimming. I haven’t lost any passion for it and I certainly want to stay involved.
“My plan now is to get my level three coaching qualification as I really want to give something back to the sport I love.
“I’ve worked and swum with some fantastic people over the years and I’d like to thank all those who have supported me throughout my career.”
David McNulty, Head Coach at British Gas ITC Bath, said: “Kris has had an outstanding swimming career both nationally and internationally over the years with some fantastic results.
“During his time at Bath ITC Kris has shown great professionalism and leadership. He has played a huge part in raising the bar here, setting high standards for the squad both in and out of the pool.
“He’ll be missed by all the swimmers here and we all wish him the best in his future.”
British Swimming’s National Performance Director Michael Scott also praised the Scotsman.
“Decisions such as this are difficult and challenging but Kris should be proud of his many accomplishments in swimming at club, Scottish and British level, in particular winning the World Short course Championship in 2008.
“I would like to thank Kris for his professionalism and contribution to the sport in Scotland and Great Britain and am delighted that he will remain in the sport in the coaching capacity.”