Athletics: Britain's Ennis-Hill announces retirement
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[October 13, 2016]
By Alan Baldwin
LONDON (Reuters) - Jessica Ennis-Hill,
the 2012 Olympic heptathlon champion and golden girl of British
athletics, announced her retirement from the sport on Thursday.
The decision means the 30-year-old will not be defending her world
title at next year's athletics championships in London's Olympic
"From my first world title in Berlin 2009 to Rio 2016 I'm so
fortunate to have had such an amazing career within the sport I love
and this has been one of the toughest decisions I've had to make.
But I know that retiring now is right," she said on Instagram.
"I've always said I want to leave my sport on a high and have no
regrets and I can truly say that," added the world champion, one of
Britain's most popular athletes and a familiar face in advertising.
The 30-year-old won silver at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics last
August. Victory would have made her the first British female track
and field athlete to win consecutive Olympic titles.
Ennis-Hill's 2012 'Super Saturday' gold medal was one of the
emotional highlights of her home London Games and in the years since
then, she has got married, had a son and battled with injury.
She had made clear already that Rio would be her last Olympics, but
had said it would be a hard decision to miss London.
"I am in two minds about whether to call it a day and retire now or
perhaps go a little bit longer," she had said in August. "I'm
definitely moving to that stage of my life where things are
Ennis-Hill's son Reggie was born in 2014 and although she won her
world title in Beijing 13 months later, she said in the run-up to
Rio that every minute away from him had to be justified.
She said there had been moments of doubt along the way as she
juggled motherhood and training, wondering whether she could ever be
the same athlete, and had also feared a recurring Achilles problem
would prevent her from defending the title.
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Silver medal winner Jessica Ennis-Hill (GBR) of Britain celebrates
after the event. REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado
"I want to thank my family and incredible team who have spent so
much of their time supporting me and enabling me to achieve my
dreams," she said on Thursday.
Former team mate Kelly Sotherton said Ennis-Hill's departure was a
sad loss for the sport.
"I imagine this decision would have been so difficult for her to
make," the 2004 Olympics heptathlon bronze medalist added. "This
decision is obviously the right one for her, even though it is
really sad to see her go," she told Sky Sports.
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin; Editing by John O'Brien)
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