When to retire is arguably the toughest decision a professional athlete has to make. But for Guy Barnea it couldn’t have been more obvious.
He may be only 30 years old, but he has no doubt he is ready for the next chapter of his life.
One of the faces of Israeli swimming over the past decade announced his retirement last week, bringing to an end an illustrious career.
Barnea reached the Olympic semifinal in the 100-meter backstroke at Beijing 2008 and ended Israel’s 10-year drought without a medal at the European Championships when he claimed a bronze in the 50m back in Budapest in 2010. He took a bronze in the same event two years later and also won a silver medal in the 50m back at the short course continental championships in 2012.
Barnea represented Israel at 11 World Championships between 2006 and 2017, more than any other blue-andwhite swimmer, reaching the final in the 50m back in 2011 and 2013. He finished in sixth place in Shanghai seven years ago and seventh in Barcelona two years later.
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