Rio 2016: Jenny Meadows retires after injury ends Olympic hopes

Jenny Meadows
Jenny Meadows is the fourth fastest British woman of all time over 800m

Jenny Meadows announced her retirement after an injury at the European Championships ended her hopes of competing at next month's Rio Olympics.

The former world and European medallist missed out on the 800m final in Amsterdam on Thursday after suffering a hamstring injury in the heats.

Meadows, 35, wants to be a mentor for younger athletes and a "real advocate" for anti-doping campaigns.

"It is time to pass over to the next generation," she told BBC Sport.

"I did think my career would either end here or in Rio in a few weeks' time.

"I've done this sport for 28 years, I've given my all and it's taken a lot from me. I definitely won't miss it."

'I'm one of those people you see on TV'

Meadows believes she "fulfilled her potential" in athletics, despite suffering from injury and illness towards the end of her career.

She won a European Indoor Championships 800m gold in 2011, but it is the 2009 World Championships - where she won bronze - that Meadows says will provide her lasting memory of the sport.

"I remember being on the back straight with the Union Jack flag just thinking, 'I'm one of those people you see on TV'," she said.

"Athletics is a great sport. I'm not the tallest, but you should never be determined by your size, your shape, your background."

Jenny Meadows career medals
Gold - 2011 European Indoor Championships (800m)
Silver - 2011 European Indoor Championships (4x400m), 2010 World Indoor Championships (800m)
Bronze - 2010 European Championships (800m), 2009 World Championships (800m)

Meadows has previously admitted feeling very "demoralised" over athletics' doping crisis.

She missed out on a place in the 800m final at the World Championships in Daegu, South Korea, in 2011 only to see two of the Russian athletes in that final, Ekaterina Kostetskaya and Yuliya Rusanova, since serve doping bans.

She was also only awarded her 2011 European Indoor Championships gold medal after the event, when Russia's Yevgeniya Zinurova was banned for tampering with urine samples.

Meadows, who has also said she has been cheated out of at least three medals, would now like to contribute to anti-doping campaigns.

"My name is synonymous with anti-doping from some of the experiences I've had," she said.

"I'd love to get involved. I want to create a new message and drive the future of clean sport in Europe and the world."

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