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World Champion Ohuruogu claims retirement still hasn’t sunk in

PUBLISHED: 13:00 22 August 2018

Former Olympic champion Christine Ohuruogu attended the Mile End parkrun as part of a campaign to get more people active

Former Olympic champion Christine Ohuruogu attended the Mile End parkrun as part of a campaign to get more people active

Archant

After hanging up her spikes at the end of June, former Olympic, World and Commonwealth Champion Christine Ohuruogu claimed retirement is yet to sink in.

With a career spanning more than a decade, the 400m runner won Olympic gold at Beijing in 2008, World Championships gold at Osaka in 2007 and Moscow in 2013, and Commonwealth gold at Melbourne in 2006.

Speaking at a parkrun event where she joined the public in running 5k around Mile End Park to say thank you for the support of her fans, Ohuruogu admitted retirement has come as a shock to the system that is yet to hit.

“I’m not quite sure what retirement feels like just yet,” said the 34-year-old.

“I retired then jumped straight into something else, and to me it just feels like I’ve just missed part of will be a good few years of training but it’s what I’ve set my heart on so I’m just going with it.

“The season due to injury, I don’t actually feel like I’ve retired.

“I think it will hit me when the season starts back up again and I’m not training six days a week. For now it just feels like I’m on a break, I’m still waiting for the breakdown.

“My routine will change a lot over the next coming years but I really do want to make an effort to fit in training where I can.

“I really think it’s important to maintain the good habits that I’ve worked hard to build up over the last 15 years of my career. I do love training, even when it was hard, I miss the hills!

“At the time I would complain non-stop but when the opportunity has been taken away from you to train at that level you do miss it.”

It’s not just the training that Ohuruogu claimed she will miss, but the competition too; although, she revealed she has never actually counted all her medals.

“I don’t think that any athlete would say that they don’t miss the buzz,” said Ohuruogu.

“It’s been our lives, it’s what we lived for, we lived for big championships, lived for competing and lived for the season.

“It’s about April/May that you start putting your race together, start watching your opponents and preparing how you’re going to respond, you never miss that, and being in a stadium competing.

“There’s always going to be a space for that but you’ve got to move on, I miss it but I appreciate that I have to put my focus elsewhere and move on, I can’t run forever – I’d love to but my body’s not letting me right now.

“I always said once I retired I was going to lay all my medals out and just look at them, but I haven’t done that yet. I will take some time to assess my career and look at my medals, I haven’t actually counted them either!”

The Newham-born runner has already turned her attention to a completely different pathway however – the study of law.

Ohuruogu is about to start her second year at Queen Mary’s University, with a degree in Linguistics already in the bag, and expressed how the change in focus will be a challenge.

She added: “It was quite a transition, the track was like my office so to be stuck inside working at a desk was very different to what I’m used to.

“I’m a boffin anyway, I’m a nerd so I don’t mind reading and writing, it wasn’t an issue it was more about getting into the practice of studying and remembering previous study patterns.

“My last degree was over ten years ago, so it’s about trying to get back into the habit of focusing and knowing how to organise notes, the actual studying I don’t really mind.

“It will be a good few years of training but it’s what I’ve set my heart on so I’m just going with it.”

To thank the public for their support through playing The National Lottery, Britain’s top athletes will volunteer as tail walkers at parkrun events across the UK from 18 August to 9 September. Everyone is welcome at #teamparkrun - be part of it! www.teamparkrun.com.

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