Meadows to call it a day

Meadows to call it a day
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Great Britain's Jenny Meadows here competing at the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Prague.

Jenny Meadows, the 2011 European indoor 800m champion, is planning to retire after this summer’s Olympic Games in Rio.

“I started off when I was seven and I will be 35 this year, so it has been a long career and a fruitful career which is great," said Meadows. "But I just want to bow out at the top. I put a lot of pressure on myself but I do think I am ready to hang up my spikes at the end of the season.”

Meadows was speaking to www.teamgb.com and it is in the colours of Great Britain in the final of the 800m in Rio that she hopes will be the moment her time on the track comes to an end.

She has never made an Olympic final, finishing sixth in the semis in Beijing 2008 before injury ruled her out of London 2012.

In order to qualify for Rio, Meadows will have to finish in the top two spots during the British trials held from 24-26 June. Only then will she be able to decide whether she competes at the European Athletics Championships in Amsterdam.

“I would like to have one more attempt to win gold at the European Championships but obviously would like to qualify for Rio so it’s a case of waiting to see if I can compete at both,” said Meadows.

Her career has brought a series of medals, including three major golds.

She was part of the winning 4x400m relay team at the world juniors in Santiago in 2000 before repeating that success 12 months later at the European Athletics U23 Championships in Amsterdam. How fitting it will be if she returns to the Dutch capital in July for this summer's European Athletics Championships.

After that success, it was to be another eight years before she made her mark individually as her career reached brilliant heights, with world bronze in Berlin 2009 before world indoor silver in 2010, a year where she was third again at the European Athletics Championships in Barcelona.

Then came the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Paris 2011 where Meadows took the biggest win of her career with 800m gold. She also left with a silver from the 4x400m relay.

Wearing her trademark sunglasses whenever she runs - indoors and out - Meadows is coached by her husband Trevor and they have become a successful team.

She is determined to make the Olympic final and has talked of working in the media after retirement.