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Jessica Ennis-Hill retires from athletics: 'I want to leave my sport on a high'

Gemma Strong

Jessica Ennis-Hill has retired from athletics. The 30-year-old, who won heptathlon gold for Team GB at London 2012, announced the news on Instagram, saying it was "one of the toughest decision I've had to make".  She added: "I've always said I wanted to leave on a high and have no regrets."

Jess had hinted at retirement after winning a silver medal at the Rio Olympics in August. She missed out on retaining her 2012 title by 35 points, and speaking afterwards said she would not rush a decision over the future of her career. But she told fans on Thursday that "retiring now is right".

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Jessica Ennis retires from athletics

Jessica Ennis-Hill has announced her retirement from athletics

"From my first world title in Berlin 2009 to Rio 2016 I'm so fortunate to have had such an amazing career within the sport I love, and this is one of the toughest decisions I've had to make," she wrote.

"But I know that retiring now is right. I've always said I want to leave my sport on a high and have no regrets, and I can truly say that.

"I want to thank my family and incredible team who have spent so much of their time supporting me and enabling me to achieve my dreams. Also a huge thank you to all those people who have supported and followed my career over the years x."

The 30-year-old said it was "one of the toughest decisions I've had to make"

After winning Olympic gold in London, Jess welcomed her first child, Reggie, in 2014, before returning to athletics and winning a second world title just 13 months later.

British Athletics performance director Neil Black said her record as an athlete was "phenomenal", adding: "And that's without considering the challenges of returning from pregnancy to win world gold and Olympic silver."

Jessica Ennis-Hill announces retirement from athletics

Jess won heptathlon gold for Great Britain at the London 2012 Olympics

He said:  "I know it will have been incredibly difficult for Jess, but I am pleased for her that she has been able to make the decision and can now look forward to a much deserved retirement.

"The entire performance team of coaches, athletes and support staff will miss her at events. Not only has she competed at the highest level, but she has been a warm and positive presence within the GB team and a great example to the younger team members.

"…I'd like to thank her not only for her contribution to the GB team over the years, but additional for being a great person to work with, know and support."

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