Jukic quits swimming aged 24

Mirna Jukic, Austria’s best swimmer of all time, has announced her retirement at the age of 24.Jukic announced at a party held for friends, family and sports press in Vienna last night (Thurs): “It was a beautiful time, but now it’s over.”With tears in her eyes, she stressed making the decision “was not easy”. Rumours Jukic would quit increased recently as she has not competed in any national or international events since August 2009.Jukic was born in the Serbian city of Novi Sad. Her Croatian family fled the Yugoslav war in 1999 to settle in Vienna. She became an Austrian citizen the year after.Jukic won 22 medals in international competitions including bronze for the 100-metre breaststroke event at the 2008 Olympic Games. She holds several Austrian records, and was awarded Austrian Sportswoman of the Year in 2002, 2008 and last year.Jukic, whose brother Dinko is one of the best swimmers in Europe, said she wanted to finish her journalism and media studies at Vienna University. Jukic, who dates tennis ace Jürgen Melzer, added she was also looking forward to travelling cities all over the world accompanying her boyfriend on the ATP Tour.Jukic, who thanked her father Zejlko for having coached her throughout her career, stressed her decision to resign from professional swimming was final. She did not rule out coaching promising swimmers herself one day.