Mara Yamauchi announces retirement from elite competition
Last Updated: 22/01/13 11:42am
Mara Yamauchi: Has announced her retirement from elite competition
Double Olympian Mara Yamauchi announced her retirement from elite competition on Tuesday.
Behind Paula Radcliffe, the 39-year-old is the second fastest female British marathon runner in history.
In the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Yamauchi finished sixth in the marathon, however, in London last summer she was forced to drop out after 10 kilometres due to a foot injury.
She admitted she was unsure as to her future plans following her withdrawal and revealed she believes the time is right to move on to new challenges.
Yamauchi said: "I have achieved my childhood dream of becoming an Olympian, and enjoyed many years training and competing as an elite athlete.
"But the most enjoyable thing was just going out training with friends."
"To be able to do what you love as your job is a rare and special privilege, and I am very grateful to all the people who have enabled me to do that.
"I have now decided that it's time to leave elite competition behind, and instead I will run for enjoyment and to stay healthy.
"The most memorable moments of my career were finishing sixth in the Beijing Olympics, and winning the 2008 Osaka Marathon. But the most enjoyable thing was just going out training with friends."