Sprinter Kim Gevaert to retire soon

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Belgian athlete says the Beijing Games is going to be her last summer season.

5 August 2008

YANTAI - Just hours after having arrived in the Chinese city of Yantai where she is to train for the coming Olympics, Belgian athlete Kim Gevaert has revealed her plans to put a stop to her career.

“This is going to be my last summer season,” she says.

A likely candidate for winning an Olympic medal, Kim Gevaert is one of the key players in Belgian athletics. She is the reigning 100 and 200 meter European champion. She also has won five European titles, two of which outdoors.

In Beijing, Gevaert is to run the 100m as well as the 4x100m. Whether she will also take part in the 200m is not yet clear.

Monday’s announcement comes as no surprise. Gevaert celebrates her 30th birthday Tuesday and has never hidden the fact that she cherishes a strong desire to have children.

“I want children and more than one. At my age I simply cannot afford to wait much longer,” Ms Gevaert told journalists at the press conference in Yantai.

“Besides, I feel that my body is starting to grumble. Last week, I talked things over with my coach and now I’ve finally come to a decision. This definitely is going to be my last summer season,” Gevaert explained.

Although the short distance did not exclude doing another winter season, she admitted that chances were slim.

“I’ve reached all I ever wanted to reach in athletics. My new life is going to be much homelier, with more time to spend with my family and friends.”

Asked about her professional plans, Gevaert preferred to remain vague.

“I’d like to keep a link with athletics but I’ve no precise plans. I’ll focus on that after the season.”

[flandersnews.be / AP / Expatica]

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