Swimming: Former Aussie golden girl Trickett retires for good

SYDNEY (AFP) - Australian triple Olympian Libby Trickett retired from swimming on Wednesday, after struggling to return to form following a wrist injury.

The 28-year-old won her fourth gold medal at the 2012 Olympics as part of the women's 4x100m freestyle relay team, the country's only swimming title in London.

But she has struggled to recover from a ligament strain suffered eight months ago and said she would retire from the sport.

"There will always be a tinge of sadness to leave the sport that I love, but I have wonderful memories and experiences to draw upon in the future," she said.

"I feel at peace with my decision and most importantly I feel that I am finally ready to take on the next adventure in my life."

Trickett won her first major international medal in 2003 at the world championships in Barcelona, where she won bronze in the 50m freestyle.

She took gold the following year at the 2004 Athens Games as part of the 4x100m freestyle relay and went on to win 13 gold medals over the 2005 and 2007 world championships and the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.

In the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, she won gold in the 100m butterfly and in the 4x100m medley relay.

Swimming Australia chief executive Mark Anderson praised her dedication to the sport.

"Libby's performances and success across three Olympics and the Commonwealth Games demonstrate her quality as both an athlete and competitor," he said.

"In addition to her many achievements in the pool, Libby will be remembered by all Australians as a great ambassador for our sport and our country."

Trickett, who retired once before, in late 2009, but came back the following year to qualify for her third Olympic Games, will pursue a career in the media.