sport

Yamauchi announces retirement

Double Olympian Mara Yamauchi has announced her retirement from elite competition.

The 39-year-old is the second fastest female British marathon runner in history behind Paula Radcliffe.

Yamauchi finished sixth in the marathon in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing but in London last summer she was forced to drop out after 10 kilometres with a foot injury.

Following her withdrawal, she admitted she was unsure as to her future plans and on Tuesday she revealed she believes the time is right to move on to new challenges.

Yamauchi said: "I have achieved my childhood dream of becoming an Olympian, and enjoyed many years training and competing as an elite athlete.

"To be able to do what you love as your job is a rare and special privilege, and I am very grateful to all the people who have enabled me to do that.

"I have now decided that it's time to leave elite competition behind, and instead I will run for enjoyment and to stay healthy.

"The most memorable moments of my career were finishing sixth in the Beijing Olympics, and winning the 2008 Osaka Marathon. But the most enjoyable thing was just going out training with friends."