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September 25, 2017

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Geoff Huegill says 'this is it,' end of career

SYDNEY -- Australia's Geoff Huegill, who staged an unlikely comeback to win a gold medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, announced Monday he was quitting elite swimming.

The former world record holder, who missed out on selection to Australia's Olympic team for London, said this time his retirement was final.

"This time it's definitely it. I've retired once before, and a lot of people have reminded me about that, but this is it," the 33-year-old said.

"I'll keep swimming because I love the sport, but my serious racing days are over."

Huegill won bronze in the 100m butterfly and silver in the 4x100m medley relay at the Sydney 2000 Olympics but finished eighth in the Olympic final in Athens four years later.

He quit the sport soon afterwards and in retirement ballooned to 138 kilograms and was overweight and out of training when he decided in 2008 that he wanted to get back into the sport.

He worked his way back into the Australia swimming team after six years out by dramatically slimming down — losing 45 kilograms over 18 months.

In inspiring swims at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in 2010 he won silver in his pet event the 50m butterfly and gold in the 100m butterfly final — at which he posted an all-time personal best performance time.

"To return to the national team was a huge bonus and while a third Olympic Games in London was always the dream, I leave competitive swimming very content with what I've been able to achieve," Huegill said Monday.

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