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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 December 2005, 10:19 GMT
Hero Holmes announces retirement
Dame Kelly Holmes at the press conference to announce her retirement
Double Olympic gold medallist Dame Kelly Holmes has announced her retirement from athletics.

Holmes had been named in England's team for the Commonwealth Games next March, but has now decided to end her glorious career with immediate effect.

She made her decision after being upset by the sudden death of a man she had met in Ireland and also because she was no longer motivated to continue.

Holmes famously won gold in the 800m and 1500m at last year's Olympics.

She made her final UK track appearance in August after an injury-plagued year but has now fully recovered from the Achilles injury which forced her out of the World Championships earlier that month.

Holmes reassessed her future after the death of Tim O'Brien, who she met while undergoing physiotherapy with Gerard Hartmann.

She told the BBC: "I went for lunch with him and talked about life in general and had a good old chat. He said he didn't feel well that day after falling over while playing tennis.

"I flew back to South Africa the day afterwards and then got a message from Gerard to say that Tim had been kept in hospital and had been given four weeks to live.

"It just totally shook me up and started making me think about my future.

"I had to make sure I had other reasons for not being in athletics any more.

"I have achieved everything I wanted to in my life and want to make the most of my life from now on.

"I never thought I was going to get two gold medals in Athens so never had any plans to quit after the Olympics.

Kelly Holmes celebrates her success in Athens

"I was probably as shocked as everybody else and I wanted to make sure that when I ended my career it was because I wanted to end it.

"It wasn't the right time to finish then.

"When something like this has been part of your life for so long it is quite a strange feeling but it was quite a satisfying decision.

"I actually knew in my heart and mind that it was the right choice and now I feel I can relax and be myself.

"I won't miss the early mornings and the injuries. I might miss the sense of achievement I had at the Olympics but I know I will never recapture that, although I am very happy to have had it once in my life."

News conference: Dame Kelly Holmes

Replay: Kelly Holmes' farewell race in the UK

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