Melbourne:Michael Klim, a six-time Olympic medalist and former world-record holder, announced he was retiring from international competition.
The lure of becoming the first Australian swimmer to compete at four Olympics, assuming he'd qualify for the 2008 Beijing Games, was not enough to an extend an international career that spans 13 years.
Klim won two Olympic gold medals, seven world championship gold medals and held world records in the 100-meter freestyle, 100 butterfly and the 400- and 800-meter freestyle relays.
The 29-year-old sprinter said a telephone conversation with longtime teammate and now retired Ian Thorpe convinced him it was right to quit.
"It is sad to do this so close to a major Olympics but I'm quite confident with my decision," Klim said. Thorpe, "had some great suggestions and words of guidance, he has been through that tough period where there are times where you do have some regrets.
"He said ... if the heart or the commitment is not quite there then we are not doing it for the right reasons and I'm pretty much in the same boat as he is."
Klim said he no longer had the drive required to break world records and his priorities now where with his wife, Lindy Rama, and baby daughter Stella.
The shaved-headed sprinter will be fondly remembered Down Under for his air guitar celebration on the pool deck when Australia ended the United States' unbeaten streak in men's 400 freestyle Olympic relays on the first night of competition at the Sydney 2000 Games.
A month earlier, American Gary Hall Jr caused a stir by saying his US relay team would "smash" the Australians, "like guitars."
Klim set a world record for the 100 freestyle in the lead off leg and Thorpe overcame Hall on the anchor leg as the Australians claimed gold in world-record time.