Australia's double world swim champion Magnussen retires

Sydney (AFP) –


Australian two-time world champion James Magnussen announced his retirement from competitive swimming Wednesday after a decade-long career that earned him 15 major medals.

The 28-year-old, dubbed "The Missile", has been struggling with shoulder issues in recent years, undergoing surgery in 2015, and said the time was right to hang up his goggles.

"I have taken the time to make the best decision for myself moving forward and to do that I wanted to make sure I was in the best space mentally and physically before announcing my retirement," he said.

"At 28 years of age I feel I could have swum at another Olympic Games.

"But with the lofty standards I have held myself to over the years and the high expectations I have, I believe now is the right time to step away from the sport."

Magnussen won back-to-back 100m freestyle world titles in 2011 and 2013, at Shanghai and Barcelona respectively, before injury prevented him defending his crown in 2015.

He claimed silver in the same event at the 2012 London Olympics, touching fractionally behind American Nathan Adrian, and won four medals, including two golds, at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

Following shoulder surgery in 2015, he returned to compete at the 2016 Rio Olympics where claimed bronze as part of the 4x100m freestyle relay team.

"James has had a magnificent swimming career with multiple world titles to his name and an Olympic silver medal," said Swimming Australia president John Bertrand.

"He should be very proud of what he has achieved -- very few people in the world have reached these heights in competitive sport."

Magnussen's announcement came ahead of next week's Australian trials for the world championships which will take place in Gwangju, South Korea, later this year.