Alnwick-born Olympian Laura Weightman announces her retirement after failing to recover from injury
“I’ve had a very challenging few years dealing with a number of injuries, surgery and extensive rehab. Throughout this period I always believed I could return and compete again at the highest level, but my body is saying no.
“In order to protect my long term health I’ve made this very difficult decision. I’m heartbroken I won’t get to race just one last time.”
Weightman won medals in the Commonwealth Games, where she came second in the 1,500m in 2014 and third in the 5,000m in 2018, and the European Championships, winning bronze in 2014 and 2018.
She also took part in the Olympic Games in London in 2012, when she came ninth in the 1,500m final, and again in 2016 in Rio, where she finished 11th.
Coached by Steve Cram, she told Athletics Weekly in January that she was hopeful of returning to competitive running despite a series of injury setbacks, including tearing a tendon in her calf in 2020, her left hamstring in May 2021, picking up a minor problem with her Achilles in August 2021 and catching Covid a month later.
Further injuries followed and in September 2022 she underwent surgery on her knee. Unfortunately it seems she has been unable to recover sufficiently to carry on competing.
In her statement announcing her retirement, she said she will always be proud of her athletics career and will never forget the people she has met along the way, or the places she has been to.
She ended by saying: “I will be forever grateful to those around me who have made this journey possible. Too many to name, but they know who they are.
“This won’t be the end of my involvement in the sport I love so much. I hope to continue coaching and supporting the next generation!”