Swimmer Liz Johnson retires ahead of Rio 2016 after injuries

Liz Johnson
Liz Johnson once considered a career in accountancy

Swimmer Liz Johnson, one of Wales' most successful Paralympians, has retired.

The 30-year old breaststroke specialist has won a medal at three consecutive Paralympic Games, having made her debut in Athens in 2004 where she won silver.

Johnson has taken the decision after a hernia operation put her behind schedule with training.

"My team and I have been trying to play catch up but we know my body and where I need to be and unfortunately the trials have come too soon," she said.

"Sport has taught me many life lessons and transferable skills, two of the most important being that 'timing is everything' and 'everything happens for a reason'. It is with these at the forefront of my mind that I make this announcement today.

"In December, I underwent surgery for a hernia repair and unfortunately I ended up being out of training for longer than I had envisaged which resulted in me missing a large portion of the crucial winter workload."

Liz Johnson
Liz Johnson shows off the Paralympic medals won at three different Games, spanning 12-years

Johnson won gold in the 100m breaststroke in the Beijing Paralympic Games in 2008.

At London 2012, she recorded a season's best time of 1:40.90 to take the bronze medal in the 100m backstroke (SB6).

"Whilst this presents a big change in my life and the direction that this year will take for me, I can't be sad," Johnson said.

"I've been extremely privileged to be able to do something that I love and compete at the highest level for almost 20 years.

"My involvement in swimming has given me so much and the experiences it has provided me with have been influential in shaping me into the person that I am today.

"I am so grateful for everything that the sport has given me and the opportunities that I have had."

Johnson says she is looking forward to devoting more of her time to being a member of the board of Disability Sport Wales.

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