By Tom Degun

Kris Gilchrist_March_22March 22 – Kris Gilchrist (pictured), the British record holder in the men's 200 metres breaststroke, has announced his retirement from competitive swimming after he narrowly missed out on a berth at the London 2012 Olympic Games at trials held last month.

The 28-year-old from Edinburgh first competed internationally in 2006 and made an immediate impact by winning bronze medals at the European Championships in Budapest and the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne where he was representing Scotland.

But the highlight of Gilchrist's career came when he won gold at the 200m breaststroke at the Manchester 2008 World Short Course Championships.

Later that year, he represented Britain at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in both the 100m and 200m breaststroke events.

Now, he says it is time to retire from elite swimming.

"I still love the sport but my body won't take it anymore," said Gilchrist.

"I know that the time is right for me and I am confident it is the right decision.

"The Commonwealth Games in Glasgow [in 2014] are just a little bit too far away.

"I am happy to stop at a time when I still love swimming.

"I haven't lost any passion for it and I certainly want to stay involved.

"My plan now is to get my level three coaching qualification as I really want to give something back to the sport I love.

Kris Gilchrist2_March_22
"I've worked and swum with some fantastic people over the years and I'd like to thank all those who have supported me throughout my career."

British Swimming's national performance director Michael Scott led the praise for the Scotsman following the announcement.

"Decisions such as this are difficult and challenging, but Kris should be proud of his many accomplishments in swimming at club, Scottish and British level, in particular winning the World Short Course Championship in 2008," said Scott.

"I would like to thank Kris for his professionalism and contribution to the sport in Scotland and Great Britain and am delighted that he will remain in the sport in the coaching capacity."

David McNulty, the head coach at British Gas ITC Bath, where Gilchrist has been based for the past 18 months, also paid tribute to the swimmer.

"Kris has had an outstanding swimming career both nationally and internationally over the years with some fantastic results," he said.

"During his time at Bath ITC Kris has shown great professionalism and leadership.

"He has played a huge part in raising the bar here, setting high standards for the squad both in and out of the pool.

"He'll be missed by all the swimmers here and we all wish him the best in his future."

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