England-born Jamaican swimmer Michael Gunning, who represented Great Britain before switching to Jamaica in 2016, has announced his retirement.
“I’m nervous but excited because I’ve got so much more to give the world, Gunning told the Guardian. “I haven’t achieved all I wanted in my career but, now I’m retiring from competitive swimming, I don’t feel I failed. Yes, I haven’t qualified for the Olympics or won that world title. But the amount of lives that I’ve impacted means more to me than medals.”
The 28-year-old, who qualifies to represent Jamaica through his father, retired as arguably the fastest male swimmer in Jamaican history. He holds the Jamaican records in the long course metres (LCM) 200 freestyle (1:50.00) and 200 butterfly (1:59.60).
Gunning represented Jamaica at the 2017 and 2019 World Championships. He achieved the Jamaican 100m freestyle record of 1:50.00 in the preliminary round at the 2017 World Championship but fell short of advancing to the semifinals.
Gunning is now planning to promote learning to swim in black communities.
“I’m so passionate about getting more black people to learn to swim and help change stereotypes around the world,” he told BBC. He also added that “I’m only retiring from competitive swimming because swimming will always be a part of my life.”