16 January 2013
After four Paralympic Games consisting of five medals including T36 100m gold in Sydney, sprinter Hazel Robson has announced her retirement from competitive athletics.
The 33 year old has consistently strung together performances over a long, distinguished career, but has admitted that the time was right to step aside and focus on her next journey.
“I’ve been in athletics for 19 years now and I think it is the right time to retire now. It was a hard decision, but I was always thinking about the right time to make way for the young ones coming through.
“I know I got through to the final in London, but it was tough just getting through the heats with the 16 and 17 year olds and I just can’t keep up with them now.”
12 years ago, Robson made her first major impact on the sport at the age of 21 winning gold in Sydney, which ranks as the highest achievement in her career as a world-class athlete.
“I think winning gold in in Sydney as a 21 year old was my proudest moment as an athlete – I want to go back!
“The crowd in London were amazing. In the heats I coped okay, but in the final my legs went - I think I was just nervous. I had all my family there because they live in London, and as soon as you came through the tunnel into the stadium, you see people you know and shouting for you and it was very hard to stay calm. But I've been to four Paralympics and I've loved every minute of it.”
With one door closing and another opening, Robson is looking forward to spending more time with her friends and family, while also holding aspirations of staying in the sport and coaching a future Olympic medallist.
“I will miss my friends in athletics, but I want to keep in touch, so I don’t think this will be an issue. I do like sprinting, but it’s a good time now to spend some time with my family and my friends. I usually had to say sorry I’ve got training, so it will be good to be able to make up for that now.
“My plans now are to find a job, and I’m looking for somewhere to live by myself. I’m going to keep on training, because of my cerebral palsy might get tight and I want to keep fit so I’m in the gym all the time.
“I would like to be a coach in the future and train a youngster to win medals just as I did.”
You can follow Hazel on Twitter and send your best wishes to her here