Spain's Mengual eyes coaching after retirement

Posted: February 15, 2012 at 4:32 pm

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BARCELONA (Reuters) - Spanish synchronised swimmer Gemma Mengual has said she is considering going into coaching after announcing her retirement Wednesday following a career that made her one of the Iberian nation's most successful athletes.

The 34-year-old, who is known as "la sirena," or the "the mermaid," won almost 40 medals in European, world and Olympic competition and originally intended to make her comeback at the London Olympic Games after taking time out to have a child.

She told an emotional news conference in Barcelona on Wednesday she had reversed her decision because she no longer felt fulfilled in a sport which she said had given her more than she could ever have hoped.

"In the long term, definitely yes," Mengual said when asked about a coaching career.

"I am retiring now from a sport that has made me happy and through which I have made others happy and I am retiring without suffering any injury," she added.

"There are still some things I have not achieved. I have never won an Olympic gold, but that's life."

Mengual won two silver medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, in the duet and team events, and the London Games would have been her fourth.

She also led Spain to gold in the free combination event at the 2009 world championships, after which she took time out to have a son.

(Writing by Iain Rogers in Madrid, editing by Justin Palmer)

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Spain's Mengual eyes coaching after retirement

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February 15th, 2012 at 4:32 pm

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