Rio hero Mears retires

Olympic champion Chris Mears has retired from diving.

Mears, 26, etched his name into Team GB history at Rio 2016 when he claimed 3m synchro gold alongside Jack Laugher, Britain's first gold medal in the sport.

The duo enjoyed prodigious success together, winning back-to-back springboard titles at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and on the Gold Coast.

“What a journey,” wrote Mears, who is to pursue a music career, on Instagram.

“My road was certainly bumpy. But in order to get to something from nothing, you need to work hard, keep improving, and never give up.

"I've had a career full of amazing memories, friendships and experiences I'll always look back on and smiled. I've learned lessons that I will take with me for the rest of my life."

The Berkshire-born star started out at the Reading Albatross Diving Club and went on to learn his trade at Southampton Diving Club.

Aged 15, Mears suffered a ruptured spleen in training for the Youth Olympic Festival having contracted glandular fever.

From enduring a seven-hour seizure that led to a three-day coma, told he had a 5% chance of survival and no chance of diving again, Mears competed 18 months later.

He defied the odds to compete at the London 2012 Olympics, finishing fifth in the 3m synchro and ninth in the 3m springboard.

Mears and Laugher tasted success on the global and continental stage, winning gold at the 2016 European Championships and bronze at the 2015 World Championships.

The duo also claimed silver from their final event as a pair, the European Championships in Scotland last year.

Laugher, 24, now competes with Dan Goodfellow as the pair look to defend Britain’s three-metre title in Tokyo.