Alekna showing life begins at 40 | 22.11.2012
|Lithuanian discus legend Virgilijus Alekna.
On February 13 next year he will be 41 but forget any rumours that he has, or will, retire.
The Lithuanian aims to carry on gracing the sport where he has become one of the all-time great field-eventers with plans to compete at the World Championships in Moscow in 2013 and he has not ruled out the 2014 European Athletics Championships in Zurich and the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
The Lithuanian said: "There were no secrets, I never finally confirmed my retirement."
He was so close to another podium place at the Olympics in London when he finished fourth with a throw of 67.38m, missing out on bronze by 65 centimetres.
But he will not want to be in Moscow and beyond just to make up the numbers.
Alekna's desire is for more glory.
Speaking to Delphi.lt, he said: "I am thinking about competing at my 10th World Championships and I do not want just compete, but in that case I want to be ready for a top result.
"I think I would also compete at other events."
Never mind the enthusiasm that he still has for the competition, it is his record of consistency that is simply staggering - particularly when you consider he first competed at the European Athletics Championships in Helsinki in 1994.
His first senior major, at the age of 22, saw Alekna finish 17th with a distance of 56.38m which by the Olympics in Sydney he had increased to 69.30m to win gold.
Having finished second at the World Championships in Athens in 1997 and third at the European Athletics Championships in Budapest in 1998, Alekna slipped down to fourth place at the next World Championships in Seville in 1999.
But Sydney was the watershed moment - sparking a run of dominance where he made the top three at the next seven major championships, winning four of them.
He has the second longest throw of all time, his 73.88m from Kaunas in 2000 just 20 centimetres short of the world record mark set by Germany's Jurgen Schult in 1986.
After London, he was asked to sum up his career and replied: "Five Olympic Games and never below the fifth place – it is a solid result. Two gold medals, one bronze. It will be tough for any Lithuanian to top that."
It's some success - and more could be on the way.