September 27 - Germany's two-time Olympic champion swimmer Britta Steffen has announced her retirement at the age of 29 following medal-less campaigns at London 2012 and the FINA World Championships earlier this year.
The Brandenburg-born athlete released a statement earlier today stating that she does not believe that she has the required drive to continue to push for medals.
"I am ending my career knowing that I am among the best in the world," she said.
"However, in the past weeks I have doubted whether I have the necessary motivation and energy for one, two or three years of battling for gold medals and championship titles."
Steffen made her first mark on the senior international circuit in 1999 at the age of 16 when she took silver as part of the German 4x50 metres relay team at the World Championships in Lisbon, which she followed up with an Olympic bronze medal in the 4x100m relay at Sydney 2000, as well as a world short course silver medal in the same event.
Her career exploded in 2006 when she won two individual titles and two team relay titles at the European Championships in Budapest, and she continued her momentum with 50m and 100m gold at the Summer Universiade in Bangkok as well as a further two European short course titles.
Steffen reached the pinnacle of her career with two Olympic gold medals in Beijing in the 50m and 100m events, before taking the world title in both these events the following year in Rome in world record time.
Her most recent success came last year at the World Short Course Championships in Istanbul in the 100m freestyle, where she won gold.
Her retirement rules out an appearance at next year's European Championships, which are due to take place in the German capital Berlin.
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