Rebecca Adlington retires from competitive swimming

Rebecca Adlington with the gold medal she won in the women's 400m freestyle at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games Credit: John Giles/PA Wire

Britain's double Olympic champion swimmer Rebecca Adlington has retired from competition to concentrate on grassroots coaching, the 23-year-old said.

Would overtake every achievement of my career if I could get every child in Britain to swim. I hate the word retire. I love swimming but as a competitive element and elite athlete I won't compete any more. I'll always be swimming even when I am 90 years old.

Adlington, who currently holds the world record in the 800 metres freestyle, won two golds in Beijing in 2008 and two bronze medals at London 2012.

Adlington finished third behind 15-year-old American Katie Ledecky in the 800 metres freestyle at the London Games, also won World, European and Commonwealth Games gold medals.

Speaking to ITV News Sports Editor Steve Scott, Rebecca said she will stay involved with swimming as she retires from competition.

She said; "swimming is my passion, it's been that since I was young. Since i was four years old, getting in the pool I just absolutely loved it. I want to stay involved with that in all levels."

The 18-times Olympic gold medal winner Michael Phelps led the tributes.

Our paths have crossed many times over the years - at meets and through a shared sponsor. Her accomplishments speak for themselves, she has been a great representative for British Swimming and the sport overall. I congratulate her on a fantastic career and wish her all the best in the future.

Rebecca Adlington with the OBE she received in 2009 Credit: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire

Her long term coach Bill Furniss also paid tribute to the swimmer:

Her team mates from Team GB also wishes the swimming star luck: