High jumper Robbie Grabarz announces retirement from athletics
Olympic bronze medallist Robbie Grabarz has brought the curtain down on his impressive high jump career after announcing his retirement from athletics.
The 30-year-old Enfield athlete leapt to bronze at London 2012 after being crowned European champion in Helsinki earlier that year.
He also racked up silvers in the 2016 World Indoor Championships and the European Indoor Championships the following year, as well as taking the 2012 Diamond League title.
His final major international competition came representing England at the Commonwealth Games in April, when he missed out on a medal in the final on the Gold Coast.
And while admitting he felt the time was right to bring his competitive career to a close, he waxed lyrical about the levels of support he has had from all quarters, especially while battling his way back from injury on several occasions.
"I'm glad I got myself back into shape this winter – I needed to do that so I knew if it didn't work it wasn't through injury," said Grabarz. "I'd got to the point where I wasn't enjoying competing and didn't want it anymore.
"I've seen people carry on too long past the point of enjoyment and there is no need, life is too short and I want to feel positive about my time competing. I've had a great time in the sport – 20 years' worth – and have genuinely loved jumping.
"I'm so grateful for everyone who I have worked with, had support off and known within the sport. There are too many to name but so many people helped keep me going.
"There was a point in 2011 when I thought I was done then, so to get almost another seven years in the sport was pretty special."
"So, from the person who maybe clapped my run up once, to those I worked with closely every day, thank you for being there.
"I'm looking forward to spending time with the family and also watching athletics – I've not been a big watcher before now but I want to keep up with how my friends are doing."
Of Grabarz's career, British Athletics performance director Neil Black added: "Robbie has been at the top of the sport for a number of years and it is with sadness that we see him retire but I want to congratulate him on a fantastic career spanning a number of years.
"He has a big character and a big heart, and has been a key addition to British teams for more than a decade.
"Robbie is a big stage performer and has delivered at a number of major championships. He has been a key part of successes for British athletics over a number of years and that must be celebrated.
"From his early days, coming through the junior stages, to acting as a mentor for younger athletes as an experienced senior, we have witnessed the growth of Robbie as an athlete and a person.
"We wish him and his family all the best for the future."