• Athletics

Injury forces Sotherton to retire

ESPN staff
May 27, 2012
Kelly Sotherton has called time on her career © PA Photos

Olympic bronze medallist Kelly Sotherton has retired from athletics after injury ended her dream of competing at London 2012.

Sotherton, who claimed heptathlon bronze in Athens in 2004 and won Commonwealth gold in Melbourne two years later, withdrew from the recent Desenzano del Garda in Italy with a back injury that required surgery, a setback that will prevent her from returning in time to reach the qualifying standard for this summer's Olympics.

"I'm so proud to have represented my country and to have won an Olympic medal, among other accolades, and am grateful to all the support I have received over the years from those around me," Sotherton said in a statement. "I'd particularly like to thank my coach of eight years, Aston Moore, who has stuck by me through thick and thin."

After finishing fourth in the heptathlon at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, persistent injury concerns led Sotherton to concentrate on the 400 metres for the 2011 season, before returning to the multi-eventer for 2012 in a bid to enjoy a London swansong.

She added: "After losing my funding at the end of the 2011 season having been forced to concentrate on the 400m for a year because of injury I decided if I was going to do this myself then I would have one final shot at my first love - the heptathlon - and really go for the chance to compete at a home Olympics.

"Sadly it wasn't meant to be and the body didn't quite hold out long enough for me. I'm heartbroken if I'm honest but I'm looking forward to the new challenges that lie ahead instead knowing that I gave everything I could to make it to what should be one of the greatest Olympics in history."

Sotherton, an ESPN columnist, is now concentrating on building a career in the media.

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