Pernille Blume has retired from swimming aged 28 ©Getty Images

Olympic gold medallist Pernille Blume has retired from competitive swimming at the age of 28.

At Rio 2016, the Dane entered the women's 50 metres freestyle category ranked 10th in the world but was the surprise package as she was the fastest in the preliminary heats and semi-finals before winning the final after 24.07sec.

The victory marked Denmark's first Olympic swimming title in 68 years.

Blume also won bronze at Rio 2016, in the 4x100m medley

At Tokyo 2020, Blume reached the 50m freestyle podium again, this time winning a bronze medal.

"Hello everyone, I have some news to share with you," Blume wrote on Instagram.

"I've decided to retire from competitive swimming.

"It has been a long journey coming to my decision and it has been some somewhat an emotional ride.

"Although it is hard and difficult to say goodbye to something I love so much, then it is also equally exciting and thrilling to think about a new chapter is about to unfold in my life.

"I don't know yet how this new chapter will look like, but I'm taking the plunge and believing life's got me and I will find my way to something meaningful and exciting just like swimming has been to me."

Blume placed fourth in the 50m freestyle at the World Championships in 2017 and 2019, beating the national record in the former.

In January 2019, Blume underwent surgery to close a small hole in her heart

"I'm so grateful for everything swimming has taught me, for the people who helped me achieve my wildest dreams, for meeting people across the globe and making friends, for learning to dream big, for getting to know myself even better and for all the incredible experiences I had throughout the years," wrote Blume.

"Swimming will always have a special place in my heart and I will follow the world of swimming closely, but this time from the pool deck.

"Thank you for all the support."

Blume currently lives in Antibes with her fiancé Florent Manaudou.

The Frenchman is also an Olympic champion, having won the London 2012 men's 50m freestyle event.