Hamstring problems force Spanish walker Molina to retire | 15.05.2012
|Spanish walker Juan Manuel Molina (right)
announced his retirement from international
athletics on Sunday.
Molina, the 2002 European Athletics Championships 20km walk bronze medallist who went on to finish third at the 2005 World Championships, pulled out at 24km due to hamstring problems in Saransk.
"Here has ended my third Olympic adventure. The left hamstring has had enough; that's the way it is with this sport: half smiles, half tears," he commented on Twitter not long after the end of the race.
"I leave with the most beautiful word in any language, gracias (thank you)," he added.
He competed at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics in the 20km walk, finishing eighth and 12th, but believed he had better chances over 50km this year.
Molina, who also won the 2001 European Athletics U23 Championships 20km walk title, had a best over the shorter distance of 1:19:19, set in 2008 in the Russian city of Cheboksary, which makes him the second fastest Spaniard ever, a considerable accolade considering the country is one of the world powers in walking.