Irish Olympic swimmer Sycerika McMahon retires aged 22

The Down swimmer is also a two-time European medallist

Sycerika McMahon

Image: ©INPHO/Giorgio Perottino

Former Irish Olympic swimmer and two-time European medallist Sycerika McMahon has called time on her career at the age of 22.

The Down swimmer, who won silver in the 50m Breaststroke in the European Championships and bronze at the European Short Course Swimming Championships in 2012, admitted she felt "capable of a lot more".

In a post on Instagram on Tuesday, McMahon looked back on the "unimaginable highs" of her career and acknowledged that her swimming career had been "extremely rocky at times".

She said: "As many people know I made the decision to retire from competitive swimming a while ago. 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. I will always cherish the unforgettable memories I have from my career, as well as the friendships I made along the way.

"The road hasn't always been easy, in fact it's been extremely rocky at times, but I've learnt 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, I always wanted and felt I was capable of a lot more."

Sycerika McMahon competing at the World University Games in Gwangju in 2015. Image: ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan

McMahon featured in the London 2012 Olympics and is the holder of a number of national records across different events.

"I look back on my career as a multi national record holder, multi European medalist, Worlds semi finalist and an Olympian with pride. However, I always wanted and felt I was capable of a lot more.

"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."

She added: "I wouldn't have been able to live out my dream as an Olympian or take up a scholarship in the USA without you all. As this chapter of my life comes to an end, I cannot wait to see what God has planned for the next one."