British swimmer Molly Renshaw has retired after an 11-year international career ©Getty Images

British world and European breaststroke gold medallist Molly Renshaw has announced her retirement from competitive swimming.

"It’s really sad to let the sport go but I think it’s the right time for me," Renshaw said.

"I have to be a little selfish and move on with my life. I never really dreamed of achieving this much in the sport.

"I'm now really excited for the next chapter of my life now, whatever that holds, something completely different and to be out of the water for a bit!"

Renshaw made her World Championship debut as a 15-year-old in 2011.

Later as a student at Loughborough University, Renshaw won 200 metres breaststroke gold at the 2016 World Championships in Windsor, Ontario.

"I have had the best support network I could ever have dreamed of at Loughborough," Renshaw added.

"We’ve got world-class facilities and the staff are absolutely world class as well."

She was an Olympic finalist in the event at Rio 2016 finishing sixth and emulated that at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

She also won 200m breaststroke gold at the 2020 European Championships to go with two 4x100m medley relay golds.

Earlier this year, she competed in her fifth World Championships and finished sixth once again in the 200m breaststroke final.

A few days later she set the seal on her career at Birmingham 2022 with 4x100m medley relay bronze for England, her fourth medal in three appearances at the Commonwealth Games.