World champion swimmer Ariana Kukors retires

Ariana Kukors
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Ariana Kukors, a world champion and world-record holder in the 200-meter individual medley, has retired from swimming at age 24.

Kukors actually announced it in July in a Q&A, but the news is making the rounds this week following a story in the Kent (Wash.) Reporter, Kukors’ hometown newspaper.

“I always kind of thought that 2012 would be my last year,” Kukors told the newspaper. “The (London) Olympics were the perfect icing on the cake. I’m very pleased and content with my career.”

Kukors starred at the 2009 World Championships, where she broke 2008 Olympic champion Stephanie Rice‘s world record in the 200 IM by more than a second in the semifinals. She went even lower in the final in Rome, setting the mark that still stands today — 2:06.15.

The Chinese teen sensation Ye Shiwen, who broke the world record in the 400 IM at the 2012 Olympics, wasn’t even close to Kukors’ time in the 200 IM, winning in 2:07.57.

Kukors took bronze in the 200 IM at the 2011 World Championships and place fifth behind Ye at the London Olympics.

In 2008, Kukors just missed making the Olympic team, finishing third in the 200 IM at trials behind Katie Hoff and Natalie Coughlin. She was also sixth in the 400 IM and the 200 breaststroke.

Olympic champion swimmer from 2000 also retires