Best of British
A look at where Adlington's achievements stand among Britain's best swimmers
Last Updated: 05/02/13 12:00pm
Adrian Moorhouse: Won Olympic breaststroke gold in Seoul in 1988
With the announcement of her retirement from competitive swimming today, Rebecca Adlington brought to an end a glittering career with two Olympic titles and four Games medals in total.
By the grand old age of 23, the Mansfield-born swimmer had won titles at Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth level.
Here, skysports.com looks at where her achievements stand among Britain's best swimmers.
ANITA LONSBROUGH: Before Adlington's success in Beijing, Lonsbrough was the last British woman to have won an Olympic title. The York-born swimmer had only just turned 19 when she won the 200m breaststroke in Rome in 1960 in a new world record time. Lonsbrough went on to win medals at European and Commonwealth level and competed at two Games, coming seventh in the 440m individual medley in Tokyo in 1964.
HENRY TAYLOR: The most successful British swimmer in history, Taylor won five medals across three Olympics. The Lancashire-born athlete won three golds in London in 1908 in the 400m, 1500m and 4x200m freestyle. Taylor then won bronze in the 4x200m relay at both the 1912 and 1920 Games.
DAVID WILKIE: The Scot first came to public attention when he won bronze in the 200m breaststroke at the 1970 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh. Wilkie then claimed silver over four lengths at the 1972 Olympics in Munich before going one better four years later to win gold in Montreal as well as silver in the 100m. Wilkie also secured three World, two European and two Commonwealth titles.
ADRIAN MOORHOUSE: The Bradford swimmer had already won European and Commonwealth breaststroke titles before competing in his first Olympics in 1984. However, despite being tipped for a 100m breaststroke medal he came fourth and considered his future in the sport. He chose to carry on and claimed two further European titles and Commonwealth gold before realising his potential and securing Olympic gold in the 100m breaststroke in Seoul in 1988. He went on to take more European and Commonwealth titles as well as silver at the 1991 World Championships before retiring following his eighth place at the 1992 Olympics.
DUNCAN GOODHEW: Millfield-educated Goodhew enjoyed a relatively short career but one that was characterised by success. A European medley relay bronze in 1977 was replicated at the following year's World Championships with three silver medals the same year at the Commonwealth Games. Goodhew then claimed gold in the 100m breaststroke at the 1980 Olympics in Moscow with a bronze in the medley relay.
JUDY GRINHAM: Grinham too had a short but successful career. The teenager produced a shock in 1956 when against the odds she won the 100m backstroke at the Melbourne Olympics. It was the first medal by a British woman in 32 years with compatriot Margaret Edwards in third. The next time British women claimed gold and bronze in one event was when Adlington and Jo Jackson repeated the feat in the 400m freestyle in Beijing. Double Commonwealth success, and a bronze, followed in 1958 with four European medals - including one gold - in the same year. Grinham retired at her peak and was awarded the MBE in 2007.