By James Crook

rebeccaadlington310113January 31 - Rebecca Adlington, Britain's four-time Olympic swimming medallist, looks set to announce her retirement from the sport next week at the age of 23.

Adlington is scheduled to make a "big announcement" next week, which has led to mounting speculation that she will announce her retirement from swimming to focus on charity work, including efforts to tackle the nation's obesity problem and encourage children to take up swimming.

The swimmer from Mansfield hit out at British Swimming following her double bronze medal-winning effort at London 2012, saying she felt "insulted, disheartened and saddened" that the governing body was launching a review into Team GB's performance at the Games.

rebeccaadlington3101131Rebecca Adlington looks set to retire after winning two Olympic gold medals at Beijing 2008 and two bronze at London 2012

She was also critical of the fact that no head coach had been appointed following Dennis Pursley's resignation after the team managed just three medals at the London Games – three short of their target.

"Why is it taking so long?" she said in an interview with BBC Sport last month.

"We've been dying for them to appoint a head coach for months.

"Surely, that would make more sense for the head coach to be appointed before the review, even if it was just one who said 'look this is semi-permanent, you might want to continue after the review but you might help us until then making these decisions'."

Adlington was the first British swimmer to win more than one gold medal at a single Games since 1908, winning the 400 metres freestyle and setting a world record on her way to winning the 800m freestyle at Beijing 2008.

She has been involved in charity work since the London 2012 Games, completing a 280-mile charity bike ride in Zambia to raise money for African orphans who have lost their parents to AIDS, as well as giving swimming lessons to local children.

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