Olympic decathlete champion Sebrle retires

Prague, June 21 (IANS) Czech decathlete Roman Sebrle, a former World Champion and a gold medal winner at the 2004 Athens Olympics, announced his retirement Friday.

Sebrle, 38, said he decided to end his career over persisting heel pains, reports Xinhua.

Sebrle won a total of 18 medals in 15 years. Half of the medals were gold including the Olympic one and the gold from the 2007 World Championships in Osaka, Japan. He was the first in the world to beat the 9000-point limit in a tournament in Goetzis, Austria, in 2001.

"Time is merciless. I suffered from troubles for all my career but these (latest troubles) reached an unbearable extent. I could not do it any more. It is impossible to stop one's ageing. For the whole season, I knew I'd have to say it but I did not expect it to be so hard," Sebrle said after announcing his retirement.

In the past few years, Sebrle tackled health troubles, the worst of which prevented him from finishing the Olympic decathlon in 2012 London Olympics.

Sebrle planned to complete his 50th and last decathlon with overcoming the 8000 point limit this season. However, health troubles continued tormenting him during the winter training.

Sebrle will focus on golf now and said he would like to take part in an Olympic golf tournament.

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