Sophie Hitchon: Great Britain's hammer bronze medallist at Rio 2016 Olympic Games retires aged 29
Sophie Hitchon secured Great Britain's first hammer medal on the global stage for 92 years at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. UK Athletics Olympic head coach Christian Malcolm said: "Although it would have been nice to have had Sophie compete in Tokyo, I am pleased she has been able to make a decision she is happy with."
"It’s never easy to make the decision - the sport has been a part of my life for basically forever, so it was difficult," she told the Burnley Express.
"Me and my coach (Tore Gustafsson) sat down and talked about it, where we were at and where we wanted to go, and ultimately came to that decision that we feel is right for me.
"When you’ve been at that level, at the top of your sport... most people know I’ve had a difficult couple of years, I haven’t competed much, and, for me, it’s about performance, it’s not about being number one in the UK, I want to be at a level I’ve been at before.
I just felt we were struggling to get there again, I had a few different issues we’d been dealing with, and when you’ve been at that level, I didn’t want to drop down and just be mediocre. It’s not my style.
"There are other things I want to do, I’m turning 30 this year, so there are other things in life I want to do and succeed at, so that was the ultimate reason.
"It’s one of those things, if I can’t do what I want to do, I’m not going to do it!"
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UK Athletics Olympic head coach Christian Malcolm said: "Although it would have been nice to have had Sophie compete in Tokyo, I am pleased she has been able to make a decision she is happy with.
"If an athlete recognises that time has come then it's a positive moment because there is life after competing."