AN EMOTIONAL Jazz Carlin announced her retirement from swimming on Wednesday morning, ending a glittering 13-year international career.

Bradford-on-Avon based Carlin won two silver medals in the 400m and 800m freestyle events at the 2016 Olympic Games and won gold in the 800m freestyle at the 2014 Commonwealth Games before embarking on a career in open water swimming last year.

She was cruelly denied the opportunity to compete at London 2012 after suffering from glandular fever.

And it was to be further injuries and illness that signalled the end of the road for one of Wiltshire’s greatest sporting athletes, who will now work alongside Swim Wales and Speedo to develop the latest crop of aquatic talent.

Posting on her twitter account, Carlin said that swimming helped change her life through both good and bad times.

She added: “I feel so lucky to have been able to compete in the sport I love for many years, for the incredible memories I have made, the places I have been and the amazing friends I have made along the way.

“Sport has taught me so many things and it has given me the confidence to believe in myself.

“I couldn’t have done it all without my family, friends, coaches, support staff, volunteers and the support of British Swimming, Swim Wales, Speedo, UK Sport and Tigersharks Swimming Club.”

The 28-year-old, who lives in Bradford-on-Avon, competed at the Commonwealth Games on Australia’s Gold Coast last year – but was struck down by a nasty case of pneumonia when returning home.

Her illness resulted in a resting heartbeat of 130bpm – 90 higher than her usual reading.

She went on to thank those that supported her in her dream to represent Team GB at the Olympic Games.

“There are so many wonderful people who have helped me in my career,” said Carlin.

“Thanks for everyone who made it so special.”

George Croxford, headteacher of Royal Wootton Bassett Academy, said the former student was an inspiration to all his pupils.

He added: “She’s been such a huge success and a great ambassador for women in sport.

“She is such a dedicated athlete and she’s worked closely with the school, coming in to talk to the children about her experiences and what she’s achieved.”