German shot putter Nadine Kleinert has decided that she will bring the curtain down on her illustrious career at the end of next summer.
Kleinert, who turns 36 on 20 October, was the 2004 Olympic Games silver medallist and has also won medals at four World Championships.
She reached a career best of 20.20m when taking the silver medal at the 2009 World Championships in front of her family and friends in Berlin.
“It (shot putting) is still fun. I can’t imagine life without shot putting but I’ve made a decision that I want to quit when I think that it’s the right time, not when my body finally tells me to,” said Kleinert, making her announcement in her home city of Magdeburg last week.
Kleinert has made the top eight at the last three Olympic Games and is aiming to carry on that streak in her anticipated fourth appearance, in London next summer.
“So far, my competitions at the Olympics have always been good. My goal is not to throw just 18 metres, I want a front seat at the best competitions next year and to stay at the same level that I’ve been at for nearly the last twenty years.”
“Prior to competing in London, the World Indoor Championships in Istanbul and at the European Athletics Championships in Helsinki are targets.”
Surprisingly, Kleinert has never been on the podium in her four appearances at the European Athletics Championships, finishing seventh on the most recent occasion in Barcelona last year.
It is something she is aiming to rectify in the Finnish capital next summer.
“I want to finish my career as the best German shot putter (of 2012) and who knows what I am capable of, I am always good for surprises.”
“I may have won silver medals at the World Championships in 1999 and 2001 but I don’t think anyone expected me to throw a personal best when I got another silver medal in Berlin two years ago, and to go over 20 metres again when I was 33 years old,” added Kleinert.
Kleinert has her post-competitive career partially mapped out. She is already coaching and advising local talented teenage throwers in Magdeburg and in the medium-term she is looking to stay within the sport and become an elite coach.
Source: European Athletic