Three-time Olympic silver medallist Frances Houghton has announced her retirement from rowing after 16 years at the top of her sport.
Houghton, who represented Team GB at five Olympic Games having made her debut at Sydney 2000, won quadruple sculls silver in Athens and Beijing, before helping to deliver the country’s first-ever women’s eight Olympic medal in Rio this summer.
The 36-year-old first joined the Great Britain set-up as a junior in 1995, before winning World Junior bronze three years later alongside Debbie Flood.
She won her first senior World gold medal in 2005 alongside Sarah Winckless, Rebecca Romero and Katherine Grainger, before retaining the title for two consecutive years, and again in 2010.
“Having achieved my goal of going to five Olympic Games, this is the right time for me to retire,” she said.
“To row at an elite level was my dream since the age of 11, and winning silver in Rio with such an inspiring, fun and motivated team was the perfect end.
“I have been fortunate to row with so many incredible people throughout my career, with whom I share many great memories and they all made the hard work worth every moment.
“My greatest debts of gratitude go to my mother, sister and fiancé, without whose support, understanding and endless encouragement this year following the passing of my father (who came to almost every race I entered for 25 years) just a few weeks before the Games, I would not have been in Rio at all.
“I look forward to watching the next generation of rowers going from strength to strength. I hope they enjoy the sport as much as I have!”
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