Irish Olympian and two-time European medalist Sycerika McMahon has announced her retirement from competitive swimming at the age of 22.

McMahon won a silver medal in the 50m breaststroke at the 2012 European Championships in Hungary. Later that same year, she took bronze at the European Short Course Swimming Championships in France. 

She represented Ireland at the 2012 Olympics in London. She held multiple national records across a range of styles and distances.

She smashed the national record in the 100m freestyle at the 2013 World Championships in Barcelona. 

The Down swimmer posted her retirement statement on Instagram early this morning. 

"This was an unexpected and difficult choice, as it is not easy to give up something you have done your whole life. My sport took me to some unimaginable highs and it's been an honour for me to represent my country all over the world...

"I look back on my career as a multi national record holder, multi European medalist, Worlds semi finalist and an Olympian with pride. However, I always wanted and felt I was capable of a lot more. Regardless, I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has been involved in helping me reach my goals over the years."

McMahon has been based in Texas for the past few years, having earned a scholarship at Texas A&M University in 2013. 

"I wouldn't have been able to live out my dream as an Olympian or take up a scholarship in the USA without you all. As this chapter of my life comes to an end, I cannot wait to see what God has planned for the next one," she wrote.