26th May 2021


Hammer thrower Sophie Hitchon has announced her retirement from the sport, following an illustrious career where she has won medals across every age group culminating in a glorious Olympic bronze medal in Rio in 2016.

Hitchon, who took gold at Commonwealth Youth, World Junior and European Under 23 level, as well as Commonwealth Games bronze has taken the decision in consultation with her coach Tore Gustafsson, and in agreement with Olympic Head Coach Christian Malcolm and Performance Director Sara Symington.

“It has not been a decision I have taken lightly, but I am satisfied it’s right for me at this time and I’m leaving the sport on the right terms,” she said.

“I’ve always wanted to put in the best possible performance, always pushed myself to be challenging for medals or improving my best. But I’ve not been able to get myself in a position where I feel able to compete at that level again, and I only want to do it if I can be at my best.

“I’m really happy with what I have achieved in my event. I’ve done what no British woman has ever done before in Hammer throwing and I’ve competed at and won medals at the highest level. It’s a sad day in some ways but also a happy day as I know I’ve made the right decision.

“I will always treasure having been able to represent my country and win medals, and I wish all the athletes and my former teammates competing this year the very best at the Olympics and Paralympics.”

UKA Olympic Head Coach Christian Malcolm said: “Although it would have been nice to have had Sophie compete in Tokyo, as a Head Coach I am pleased she has been able to make a decision she is happy with. If an athlete recognises that time has come then it’s a positive moment because there is life after competing – as I know!

“I watched Sophie develop from a young athlete based at Loughborough to a World Class athlete and Olympic medallist who has demonstrated what hard work, discipline and dedication can achieve.

“She has achieved an amazing amount in her event and that Olympic bronze will stay in the team’s memories from that brilliant performance in Rio almost five years ago now. We wish her the very best in her retirement from the sport and a healthy and happy next chapter in her life. Sophie will always be part of the British Athletics family if she wanted to get involved in future again in any capacity – I know she’d have a lot to offer.”