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Gardener finishes UK 100m career

3 August 2007
bbc.co.uk

Jason Gardener ran his last 100m on home soil at Crystal Palace on Friday after deciding to quit outdoor athletics at the end of the summer.

The 31-year-old failed to make it through to the final after finishing fourth in his heat in 10.41 seconds.

There is still an outside chance Gardener could be selected for the World Championship relay squad.

"There's no way I'd want to go unless I can give a good performance for the team," Gardener told BBC Sport.

"At the end of the season that will be it finished. I don't want to put up with the injuries anymore.

"I've made a decision and have got to the end of the road in athletics, the time is right to move into another direction."

The four-time European Indoor 60m champion had planned to run at next year's Olympics but has decided to bow out early after an injury-hit summer.

Gardener, who has not broken 10 seconds since running 9.98 seconds in 1999, said earlier: "The event has moved on. I'm out of my depth having to chase 9.7 - I have to accept it."

The sprinter, nicknamed the 'Bath Bullet' for his indoor exploits, was also fourth in the national trials for this month's World Championships in Osaka.

The pinnacle of Gardener's career came at the Athens Olympics when he took a brilliant 4x100m gold alongside Darren Campbell, Marlon Devonish and Mark Lewis-Francis.

Gardener was also one of the British quartet who won bronze at the 2005 World Championships.

His other achievements include a 4 x 100m relay gold at the 2002 Commonwealth Games and a silver in the same event at the 1999 World Championships.

The father-of-two will take up a marketing position with Bath Rugby Club at the end of the outdoor season and also assist with UK Athletics mentoring programme.

He has not yet made a decision on whether to continue his indoor career.



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