One of the stalwarts of German athletics Silke Spiegelburg has announced her retirement from pole vaulting at the age of 32.
Spiegelburg made her final competitive appearance at the German Championships in Nurnberg in July when she finished seventh with 4.15m, a recurring foot injury preventing her from making the national team for the 2018 European Championships in Berlin.
"I have ended my career now. It was not an easy decision but I feel the right one. Despite this I will continue to support sports, athletics and mainly pole vault," said Spiegelburg on Facebook.
Spiegelburg’s international career in earnest dates back to 2001 when she won the World U18 Championships at the age of 15. She also won the 2003 and 2015 European U20 Championships before embarking on a successful career in the senior ranks.
Spiegelburg won silver medals at the 2010 European Championships in Barcelona in between silver medals at the 2009 and 2011 European Indoor Championships. Her consistency at the highest level is demonstrated by the fact she was also crowned Diamond League champion three times between 2011 and 2013.
An incredibly successful athlete from a young age. 3 time @Diamond_League champion. German record holder. Consistently one of the best in the world for many many years. Silke I wish you the best for whatever you decide to do next ❤️We will miss you! https://t.co/7sjw9IJdhy
— Katerina Stefanidi (@KatStefanidi) October 1, 2018
Spiegelburg also amassed an excellent record at the European Team Championships, winning maximum points for Germany in 2013 and 2005. She also equalled Anna Rogowska’s championship record with a 4.75m clearance for victory in Cheboksary in 2015.
However, Spiegelburg had a number of near misses in global championships, finishing fourth at the 2009 World Championships, 2012 World Indoor Championships and 2012 Olympic Games.
Spiegelburg retires as the German record-holder both indoors (4.77m) and outdoors (4.82m) and she also has the distinction of becoming the youngest ever pole vaulter to reach an Olympic final - a feat she achieved in Athens 2004 when she was 18.
Montaner hangs up her spikes
Another veteran of European athletics Concepcion Montaner from Spain also announced her retirement on Friday.
“After 20 years in the elite, I have put an end to a very beautiful stage of my life. I'll take all the great moments you've given me: four Olympics, a European medal, World Championships - I cannot ask for more. On the runway, I will always feel at home,” she said on Facebook.
Montaner won the world U20 long jump title in 2000 and represented Spain at four editions of the Olympic Games between 2000 and 2016.
Now 37, Montaner picked up a retroactive bronze medal from the 2006 World Indoor Championships followed by silver at the 2007 European Indoor Championships. Montaner retires with a lifetime best of 6.92m set in 2005.