FORMER WORLD CHAMPION and three-time Olympian Derval O’Rourke has announced her retirement from athletics.
“It’s been a tough decision but it feels like the right time,” O’Rourke, 33, said in a statement released this morning.
The Leevale AC athlete had hoped to return to action at the European Championships in August, but hung up her spikes after accepting that she would not be in a position to contend for a medal in Zurich.
“Going to a Championships just to be there, isn’t me,” she said.
O’Rourke’s final competitive race came at the European Indoors in March 2013 where she was upgraded to bronze after winner Nevin Yanit of Turkey tested positive for banned substances.
It was her fifth championship medal along with European silver medals in the 100m hurdles in 2006 and 2010, and a 60m hurdles bronze from the 2009 European Indoors.
The highlight of her 12-year senior career came in 2006 when she was crowned the world indoor champion in Moscow, blitzing the field to take 60m hurdles gold in 7.84 seconds.
O’Rourke retires with three Irish senior records still intact (50m indoor hurdles, 60m indoor hurdles and 100m hurdles) and as a three-time Olympian having represented her country at Athens 2004, Beijing 2008 and London 2012.
“I’ve had an absolutely amazing career in athletics and for that I am so grateful to all the support I have received along the way.”
She added: “I’ve been extremely lucky with the team I’ve had around me. Sean and Terrie Cahill are the rock that my success has been built on. Together we forged a way to be successful on a world stage and I’m incredibly grateful for their focus, passion and dedication.
“I’ve loved every minute of my athletics career but now I’m going to take some time to reflect on what has been a very privileged job for me for the past 12 years and make some decisions for the future.”
– First published 10.13am