Vasey calls time on swimming career

23 Sep 2022

Sarah Vasey, a European and Commonwealth champion during her senior international career, is retiring from competitive swimming.

Vasey has spent half-a-decade as part of British Swimming teams since her debut at the World Aquatics Championships in 2017, where she competed in both the 50m and 100m Breaststroke finals.

A year later, she sprinted to the 50m Commonwealth title with Team England on the Gold Coast, before making her European debut at Glasgow 2018.

It was in 2021, though, that Sarah achieved what she deems the highlight of her time in the pool, competing at a maiden Olympic Games - and reaching the 100m Breaststroke semi-finals - therein completing the full house of Olympic, World Championship, European and Commonwealth appearances.

Vasey was also part of the Women's 4x100m Medley Relay team that placed ninth in Tokyo, with that event having brought her a gold medal at the European Championships in Budapest only a few months earlier.

On her decision to hang up the racesuit, Sarah said: "I've had a lot of change in the past year, and that has changed my perspective on things. I was thinking about the next phase of my life, and then getting a knee injury, it's a barrier I just wasn't willing to jump over at this stage, with the surgery and rehab to get back to fitness.

"I have achieved everything I thought I was capable of and more. I would be undergoing surgery and then having six weeks of recovery, and it was all a bit too much after having achieved everything I wanted to.

Sarah Vasey - CWG 2018 - 50m Breast Gold

"The highlight of my career for me has to be competing in a semi-final at the Olympic Games. It's weird, because when you're in the bubble of it, you don't really realise what you've done - and then it's only afterwards, when you take a step back and take a look at everything you've done that you actually realise, and I’m really proud of myself.

"If you'd told 10-year-old me that I'd have done all that I have, I'd never have believed you!"

A seven-time British Championship medallist, Vasey has spent the bulk of her senior career working with Mel Marshall, firstly at the City of Derby and, since 2016, at British Swimming's Loughborough Performance Centre.

Reflecting on the people that have contributed to her career, from poolside and in the lanes alongside her, the 26-year-old added: "I've honestly loved every minute of it. The teams are what make it, there are so many great people in British Swimming. I feel so lucky to have met so many of them and to have had so many good memories with them.

"I can honestly say I wouldn't be anywhere without Mel. She has been such a massive support for me, in and out of the pool. She is one of the best coaches out there and I know I can call her my friend now too."

Speaking on Sarah's retirement from swimming, British Swimming Performance Director Chris Spice said: "Sarah has played her part on British Swimming teams for the last five years, both individually and as an important part of medley relay efforts too - including helping our Women's 4x100m Medley Relay team claim the European title last year during a superb meet for our swimmers.

"Her constant commitment in training and all her preparations have allowed her to represent Great Britain at all senior levels, and her presence in our teams will be missed. We wish her all the best for whatever comes next for her."

Sarah Vasey Molly Renshaw Abbie Wood celebrate BSST 2021