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04 Feb 2008 09:53
Former Olympic and world champion sprinter Maurice Greene announced his retirement on Monday, citing nagging injuries. Greene (33) said he planned to pursue coaching and business interests in the United States and had no regrets about his athletic career.
“It’s a little sad for me but it’s happy at the same time because I’ve had a great career.
I’ve done a lot of great things,” Greene told a news conference in Beijing.
The Kansas City, Kansas, native has been of the sport’s dominant figures of the past decade, setting the world record for the 100m in 1999 and winning the blue-ribbon sprint at the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
He also won world championship 100 titles in 1997, 1999 and 2001—in 1999 at Sevilla he also won the 200m and 4x100m relay golds in a rare triple.
The following year, he won the 100m and anchored the victorious men’s 4x100m relay team at the Sydney Olympics, but did not run in the 200m after injuring himself at the US trials.
His world record of 9,79 seconds stood from 1999 until 2002, when Tim Montgomery ran a 9,78—although that time was erased when Montgomery was banned for allegedly using performance enhancing substances.
Asafa Powell set the record 9,77 in 2005.
Greene still holds the indoor 60m world record at 6,39 seconds.
Greene made the announcement in Beijing where he was touring facilities for this summer’s Olympic Games.
He acknowledged concerns among track and field athletes over the Chinese capital’s poor air quality, but said that shouldn’t be a barrier to victory.
“Every athlete who is coming here is going to be going for a gold medal. And they can’t let anything get in their way,” Greene said.
“Every athlete is going to have to deal with” air pollution, he said. “You’ve got to bust the door down and take what you want.” â€’ Sapa-AP
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