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McMahon looks back with pride after retiring at 22


By David Kelly

Sycerika McMahon has decided to retire from swimming at the tender age of just 22, admitting: "I always wanted and felt I was capable of a lot more".

McMahon was the most outstanding Irish junior swimmer of her generation, becoming the first from Northern Ireland to win a gold medal at the European Junior Championships in 2011 when she topped the podium on two occasions before going on to win a silver in the senior championships a year later.

McMahon, who also won bronze at the Euro juniors in 2010 and a silver in 2011, would then move on to a scholarship at Texas University with the expectation that the Portaferry woman would go on to make a major impact on the senior stage for years to come.

However, it simply didn't happen for the breaststroke ace who competed at the Olympics at London 2012 and represented Northern Ireland three years ago in the Commonwealth Games.

McMahon stated: "This was an unexpected and difficult choice, as it is not easy to give up something that you have done your whole life. My sport took me to some unimaginable highs and it's been an honour for me to represent my country all over the world.

"The road hasn't always been easy, in fact it's been extremely rocky at times, but I've learned to become a much stronger person because of it.

"I look back on my career as a multi-national record holder, multi-European medallist, Worlds semi-finalist and an Olympian with pride.

"However, regardless I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has been involved in helping me reach my goals over the years. As this chapter of my life comes to an end, I cannot wait to see what God has planned for the next one."

• THE Ulster swimming fraternity is in mourning following the death of stalwart Davy Campbell.

Davy's funeral will be held on Monday at Roselawn Crematorium at 3.00pm.

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