Meadows steps into retirement

Great Britain's Jenny Meadows at the European Championships
Great Britain's Jenny Meadows at the European Championships

Jenny Meadows announced her retirement from athletics tonight.

She ran in the women’s 800m semi-finals at the European Championships but failed to reach the final.

And the athlete who has for so long been Wigan’s golden girl admitted afterwards that a hamstring injury picked up in the heats had effectively ended her chances of competing at the Rio Olympics in a month’s time.

In the end, she faded in her race to finish sixth, with a time of 2:03.13.

“It is time to pass over to the next generation,” she told BBC Sport.

“I did think my career would either end here or in Rio in a few weeks’ time.

“I’ve done this sport for 28 years, I’ve given my all and it’s taken a lot from me. I definitely won’t miss it.”

While Meadows didn’t progress in Amsterdam, she had posted four Olympic-qualifying times this year.

And that is the end of the line for the 35-year-old who competed at Beijing but cruelly missed out on London 2012 through injury.

She had said last week she would bow out while representing her country - whether that be at the European Championships or next month’s Olympics.

Meadows says she would like to spend her time to inspiring the next generation of runners, as well as becoming a “real advocate” for anti-doping campaigns.