Karen announces retirement

KAREN Pickering today announced her retirement from international swimming.The Ipswich swimmer has been at the forefront of the sport during a glittering career spanning two decades.

KAREN Pickering today announced her retirement from international swimming.

The Ipswich swimmer has been at the forefront of the sport during a glittering career spanning two decades.

Since her international debut in 1986, Pickering has won eight World Championship medals.

At the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, she gained two gold medals and a silver medal.

However, the one major honour that eluded her was Olympic glory - despite appearing at four different Games.

Pickering, 33, grew up in Brighton but moved to Ipswich as a teenager and has recently become the town's first sports ambassador.

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She regularly trains at Crown Pools and despite her international retirement will still be representing Ipswich.

She will be competing in her last British National Championships at Sheffield next week when she swims in the 50m freestyle.

Pickering was part of the 2012 Athletes Advisory Group and hopes to continue her commitment in the run up to the Olympic Games in London.

She was awarded the MBE for her services to swimming when she was only 22 and her other

commitments include a position on Sport England's Eastern Regional Sports Board.

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