REUTERS - Two-time Olympic decathlon champion Ashton Eaton announced his retirement on Wednesday, saying he had given everything he could to the sport.
“I give everything to the decathlon. I did all I could. Thank u for making it the best time of my life. I‘m retiring,” said Eaton on his Twitter account.
The 28-year-old American, who holds the world record in both the decathlon and indoor heptathlon events, won gold in the multi-event discipline at the 2012 London Olympics and successfully defended his crown at the Rio Games last August.
”Frankly there isn’t much more I want to do in sport,“ said Eaton on his website. ”I gave the most physically robust years of my life to the discovery and pursuit of my limits in this domain.
“Did I reach them? Truthfully I‘m not sure anyone really does. It seems like we tend to run out of time or will before we run out of potential.”
Eaton walked hand-in-hand into retirement with his wife Brianne Theisen-Eaton who also reached the medals podium in Rio, taking bronze in the heptathlon.
The Canadian was also twice a silver medalist at the world championships, finishing runner-up at the 2013 worlds in Moscow and again two years later in Beijing.
At the world indoor championships last year in Eaton’s hometown of Portland, Oregon, the husband-and-wife team claimed a golden double, each topping the podium in their event.
Athletics’ golden couple had hoped to repeat the feat at the Rio Olympics but Theisen-Eaton was forced to settle for third behind Belgium’s Nafissatou Thiam and Britain’s Jessica Ennis-Hill.
”I gave the last four years everything I could. I put my life on hold,“ said Theisen-Eaton, on the website she shares with her husband. ”Track and field was the priority before everything else.
”But I’ve done it.
”I no longer have the passion for track and field or the heptathlon that I used to because I know I can’t advance any further in the sport; I’ve given it all I can, and I refuse to come back and half-ass it because I love and respect this event and sport too much.
“With that, I’ve decided to retire.”
Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto; Editing by Neil Robinson and Clare Fallon