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Hurdles legend Allen Johnson calls time on long career

Allen Johnson
Johnson won world gold in 1995, 1997, 2001 and 2003

Former world and Olympic 110m hurdles champion Allen Johnson has announced his retirement at the age of 39.

The American, who won 1996 Olympic gold in Atlanta, revealed his decision at the British Grand Prix in Gateshead.

"It's just come to the point where my body can't take it any more," admitted the four-time world champion.

"Maybe I can coach some hurdlers or some sprinters... give something back. I'm going to miss it, I really am, but it was fun."

Johnson, who clocked a personal best of 12.92 seconds in 1996, had been due to compete in an event in Glasgow last Wednesday but pulled up in the warm-up.

In an interview in May he said: "The thing about getting older is the injuries. You just get injured more often. You take time off, you come back, you get injured again and you never get in shape."

Johnson signalled the start of his 110m hurdles domination in 1995 when he ended Briton Colin Jackson's run of 44 consecutive victories.

His last medal at a major championships came in 2008 when he won silver over 60m at the World Indoors.

As late as last year, he was still ranked in the world's top 40 in his event with a best time of 13.43 secs.

USA Track & Field chief executive Doug Logan paid tribute to Johnson, describing him as "an inspiration for competition as lifelong pursuit".

He added: "Allen embodies all the qualities you could ask for from a champion. Above all, he conducted himself with class, on and off the track."

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