Olympic medallist Beth Tweddle announces retirement

Last updated at 09:31
Beth Tweddle wins Olympic bronze at London 2012

Britain's most successful gymnast, Beth Tweddle, has announced her retirement exactly a year since she won bronze at London 2012.

She's not competed since she claimed that first Olympic podium finish last summer.

That display on the uneven bars was the highlight of a career in which she won three world and six European golds.

"It's been a hard decision; gymnastics has been and always will be a massive part of my life," she said.

A Beth Tweddle Academy will now open in a school on the London Olympic site. It will provide gymnastics training for children aged 2-14 years old.

'I can be very proud'

Despite continuing to train, Beth took a break from competitive gymnastics after London 2012.

"Following the Olympics I've had a lot of projects on and recently I've had a bit more time to get back into the gym and decide whether I could put 100% into it.

"I know now deep down that I can't commit to the hours and training to remain at the very top," she said.

"I don't think my achievements will ever really sink in but, when I do look back, I can be very proud of what I've done and how I've done it."

Britain's best ever

Tweddle's record-breaking medal haul began when she was just 17, at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, where she collected a gold and two silvers.

Throughout the next decade, she went on to win more than 20 golds in major championships throughout the world.

In a sport where it's rare to compete beyond the age of 20, Beth battled hard with a knee problem to remain at the top for years.

London 2012 chief Sebastian Coe labelled her "an inspiration and a role model for a generation".

Beth follows cyclists Sir Chris Hoy announces retirement and Victoria Pendleton, as well as swimmer Rebecca Adlington, who all announced they were retiring after their London 2012 success.