London, UK: Former Olympic champion Christine Ijeoma Ohuruogu, 34, has announced her retirement from athletics. Ohuruogu, who was born to Nigerian parents in London, secured gold for Britain in the 400 meters at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and silver in London four years later. Ohuruogu also won world titles in 2007 and 2013,
Ohuruogu, who had indicated last year that this season would be her last on the track confirmed her retirement on Saturday.
“Today is the start of the British Championships and, as I won’t be there competing, I feel it is a good time to formally announce my retirement from competitive athletics,” the London-born athlete said in a statement on her website.
Now halfway through a law degree at university, she continued: “I didn’t feel ready to retire after last season but a combination of my studies and a niggling injury restricted how much training I was able to do this year.”
Ohuruogu, who became an MBE in the wake of her 2008 Olympic triumph, was the first British woman to win two athletics world titles.
“I end my career with four Olympic medals and five World Championships medals,” Ohuruogu said.
“Athletics has been my passion for so long and I am proud to call myself an athlete
The Newham & Essex Beagles club member, who took up athletics in 2001 in a bid to boost her netball skills, looked back fondly at her career. “Athletics has been my passion for so long and I am proud to call myself an athlete,” she said. “I love the diversity of the events and the brilliant characters that come from them. I have truly met some wonderful people over the last 15 years, competing around the world, and I am blessed to call many of them friends.”
Her last major medal came two years ago, when she was part of the 4×400 metres relay team which won bronze at the Rio Olympics.
Christine Ijeoma Ohuruogu shares with Merlene Ottey and Usain Bolt the record for medaling in most successive global championships – 9 between the 2005 World Championships in Athletics and the 2016 Summer Olympics.
Ohuruogu’s personal best time of 49.41 seconds, set at the 2013 World Championships, beat the UK record set by Kathy Cook in 1984 by 0.02 seconds, simultaneously making her the first British female to win two World Championship titles, and the first British female to win three global titles. Her relay bronze at the 2016 Summer Olympics made her only the second British track and field athlete, after Steve Backley to win medals at three successive Olympic Games.