Jessica Ennis-Hill has revealed concerns over the possibility of injuries convinced her it was time to retire from athletics.
The 30-year-old heptathlete called time on her illustrious career last week, opting not to try and compete at next year’s World Championships in London at the stadium where she won Olympic gold.
Ennis-Hill had the opportunity to say goodbye to the British public at the Team GB homecoming parade in Manchester on Monday, where an estimated 200,000 lined the streets in recognition of the 350 Team GB and Paralympics GB athletes who claimed 214 medals in Rio.
The mention of Ennis-Hill’s retirement was booed by fans hoping she would continue to compete but she insisted her decision was prompted by fears she may not be able to remain in the shape required for top-level athletics.
“My body can’t cope with the volume of training that it used to,” she told BBC Sport.
“It was that fear of, ‘Do I push on that one more year and potentially get injured and come away disappointed?’
“Doing the heptathlon, you’ve got to be 100 per cent motivated; you have to want to do the training or you’re not going to get anywhere with it.
“The past couple of years, I’ve struggled with injuries and Achilles problems. I’d have sessions that would go really well but then I’d be injured for a few days later.
“Do I say, ‘I’m in a really nice position here, I’ve achieved what I wanted to achieve and more’ and do I walk away feeling really happy and satisfied? That’s what I wanted to do.”
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