By James Crook

Swimmer James Goddard has announced his retirement at the age of 30September 25 - England's double Commonwealth champion James Goddard will not defend his 200 metre backstroke and medley titles at Glasgow 2014, after he announced his retirement from swimming today at the age of 30.

The Seychelles-born swimmer added two Commonwealth gold medals to his collection at Delhi 2010, following on from the gold and bronze medal he won at Manchester 2002 in front of his home crowd.

The British and Commonwealth record holder also won gold at the European short course Championships in Rijeka in 2008, as well as a bronze medal in the 200m medley at the short course World Championships in Manchester in the same year and a silver medal at last year's European Championships in Debrecen, also in his favoured 200m medley.

Goddard, who has been hailed as one of the best British swimmers of his generation, believes that the stage is now set for younger athletes to take over.

"I'm 30-years-old now and there's a lot of good talent coming through who are swimming really well," he said.

"I think everything is set up for me to retire.

"There are some really young swimmers coming through within British Swimming.

"The whole sport is getting younger and younger and this helped me to shape my decision."

"All elite sport is tough but swimming is especially tough at the moment and the fact these guys are coming through in this environment sets the sport up well for the future."

Looking to the future, Goddard hopes to stay in the sport, with a role in the media at the top of his wishlist.

Three-time Commonwealth gold medallist James Goddard has retired from swimming at the age of 30Three-time Commonwealth gold medallist James Goddard has retired from swimming at the age of 30

"I've been a full-time international swimmer since I was 18 and after 12 years it's time to find new experiences outside of training and competition," he said.

"I definitely want to be involved in sport going forward."

"It's always been my life and I want that to continue.

"I want to take what I've learned and put it into something else.

"I'm currently working towards becoming a personal trainer but I'd love to stay involved in swimming hopefully through a role within the media."

British Swimming head coach Bill Furniss paid tribute to Goddard for his years of service.

"James has been a fantastic servant and ambassador for the sport for so long," he said.

"He is one of the most talented swimmers that Britain has ever produced and has had a long and wonderful career.

"I'd like to thank James for his valuable contribution to the sport and for the role he has played within the national team where his character will be greatly missed."

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