21 November 2017Tonia Couch announces retirement from diving
She is one of Britain’s most decorated female divers but Tonia Couch has announced her retirement after a glittering career on the board.
Plymouth-born Couch has three European medals in her cabinet, including 10m synchro gold from Eindhoven in 2012 alongside Sarah Barrow.
She added a European silver in the same event a year later in Rostock, again with Barrow, before being runner-up once more in London in 2016 in the 10m platform.
Add in a Commonwealth silver in 2014 and appearances at the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games and it makes quite the reading for the 28-year-old.
Announcing the news on Instagram, Couch said: “It’s time to hang up the swim suit. 18 incredible years as a diver. Travelled the world and I have made the most amazing friends. I have had the best synchro partners ever. I’ve loved every minute of it.
“Started off being the youngest on the team, then became the oldest on the team. I can’t believe it’s all over.
“[Andy Banks] has been a fantastic coach from the day I started. Thank you so much. My family and friends have supported me all the way. I couldn’t [have] done it without you.
“It’s now time to find some little talent of my own and coach them along the way. I’m so excited what the future holds. Once a diver always a diver.”
Kind words and tributes also poured in from around the diving world, with friend and teammate Tom Daley applauding Couch’s impact on the sport as she prepares to take up a coaching role in her home city.
“Tonia has been my best friend in diving for as long as I can remember and I'm going to miss my best friend coming on trips with me," two-time Olympic bronze medallist Daley told BBC Sport.
"She is the most successful British female diver I have ever known and she will leave a lasting legacy in the diving world."