Athletics

Nigerian-born British former Olympic and world champion Ohuruogu retires

One of Nigerian-born Great Britain’s most decorated track athletes Christine Ohuruogu has announced her retirement from the sport, a decade after winning the Olympic 400 metres title in Beijing.
The 34-year-old, winner of four Olympic and five World Championship medals throughout her career, made the announcement on her website,revealing she hopes to stay involved in the sport “at some level”.
Ohuruogu had originally taken up athletics in 2001 as a way of improving her ability as a netball player.
Just two years later she won a 400m bronze at the European Junior Championships in Tampere in Finland to kick start what was to be a career full of highs and the occasional low.
In 2006 Ohuruogu, by then the Commonwealth 400m champion, was suspended by UK athletics for missing three out-of-competition drug tests.
She claimed at the time that a change to her training schedule had caused her to miss the tests by accident but the British Olympic Association (BOA) imposed a lifetime ban on Ohuruogu, meaning she looked set to miss Beijing 2008 and every Olympics thereafter.
She was finally cleared to compete, however, when in January 2008 a Sports Dispute Resolution Panel found she had missed her tests due to “significant mitigating circumstances” and the BOA lifted its ban.
Ohuruogu went on the win the gold in China in a thrilling final that saw her beat the pre-race favourite Sanya Richards from America, in a time of 49.62sec.
She then went on to anchor the British team to a bronze medal in the 4x400m relay, a feat matched eight years later at Rio 2016.
Other significant highlights from Ohuruogu’s career include claiming Olympic silver from lane eight at the 2012 Olympics, in her home town of London.
She then bettered that surprise result, with the World Championship gold medal in Moscow a year later.
In recent years Ohuruogu has begun to fade away from the top of the athletics stage, and so her announcement has come as little surprise.
She failed to make the final at the Olympic Games at Rio 2016 and then was not picked for the Commonwealth Games in Australia earlier this year.
Ohuruogu said she was “proud” to call herself and athlete and thanked everyone who had helped her throughout her career.
“Special thanks to my long term coach Lloyd Cowan and my medical team who have kept me running and got me to the start line of every championship from 2004 to 2016,” she said.
“Thanks to everyone else who has supported me over the years and stood by me in the good times and the bad, your warmth and support is much appreciated.
“I hope to stay involved in the sport at some level and am excited to see all the new talent coming through.”

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