Three-time Paralympic Champion Hannah Russell Retires After Medal-Laden Career

Three-time Paralympic champion Hannah Russell has announced her retirement following success on the international stage spanning more than a decade.

With a silver and bronze on her international debut aged 14 at the Berlin 2011 European Championships, Russell marked the start of a medal-laden career in which she claimed 11 titles at Paralympic, World Championship and European level.

In front of a home crowd at London 2012, Russell shone at her first Paralympic Games, kicking her campaign off with S12 400m freestyle silver before adding a pair of bronzes.

A first global gold followed at the 2013 World Championships with Russell then going on to top the podium twice at the Rio 2016 Paralympics, setting a new world record in the S12 100m backstroke before sprinting to her second title days later in the S12 50m freestyle.

In the run up to Tokyo 2020, she took a period of time away from the water in 2019 to focus on her mental health and wellbeing, and during this period she completed her first class Sports Science degree from the University of Salford.

She went on to retain her S12 100 back Paralympic title in the Japanese capital in 2021 – something that stands out as a “special highlight” to Russell.

Her achievements for services to swimming were recognised in the 2022 New Year’s Honours list, with the triple Paralympic champion visiting Windsor Castle in June where the then Prince Charles presented her OBE.

Hannah Russell receives OBE: Photo Courtesy: British Swimming

Russell then secured a gold, two silvers and a relay bronze at her final World Para Swimming Championships in Madeira in June, before closing out her competitive career at her first Commonwealth Games, swimming up a class for S13 50m freestyle silver as a visual impairment para-swimming event was included for the first time in the aquatics programme at Birmingham 2022.

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