Leanda Cave: Ex-triathlon and Ironman world champion retires

Leanda Cave celebrates winning the 2014 Ironman Kalmar
Leanda Cave won silver for Wales in the 2002 Commonwealth Games triathlon

Former world champion triathlete and and Ironman athlete Leanda Cave has retired from competition.

The 40-year-old said she made the decision after finishing a 2017 race in Nassau, Bahamas "distressed" and a "groveling mess".

She retires after battling skin cancer in 2013 and having won four world titles at different distances.

Cave acknowledged: "This 40-year-old body can no longer do what it found so easy in its 20s and early 30s."

She won the triathlon world title in 2002, took Commonwealth Games silver the same year and ends her career having won world titles at ITU Olympic distance, ITU middle distance, 70.3 miles (half Ironman) and the full 140.6-mile Ironman distance.

Her four world titles included the 2012 Ironman and Half-Ironman World Championships, but Cave was diagnosed with skin cancer the following year.

In 2014, Cave was disappointed not to go to the Glasgow Commonwealth Games when injuries forced out Welsh rivals Non Stanford and Helen Jenkins.

Cave said in the statement announcing her retirement: "I was left with no choice.

"The need to achieve great things is part of my DNA and as this slowly slipped away, so did my love for the sport.

"It became a chore to train, and I found it harder and harder to motivate myself to race.

"I know my body so well. I know what it feels like to be in the sort of shape to win big.

"I couldn't get there anymore, so the enjoyment was gone."

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