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Saturday, 23 September, 2000, 21:34 GMT 22:34 UK
Legend Redgrave calls it a day
Redgrave with his fifth - and probably last - gold
Redgrave with his fifth - and probably last - gold
real 56k Steve Redgrave and the team talk to BBC TV.

Steve Redgrave has announced that he will not be gunning for a sixth Olympic gold in Athens.

Redgrave, who became Britain's greatest Olympian when he picked up a fifth successive gold leading the men's coxless four to glory, revealed that he had reached the end of the road as far as the Olympics were concerned - and possibly rowing altogether.

"That's it for me. It's over. This was my defining moment," Redgrave told the News of the World.

"I don't even think I'll go out in a boat any more. It's time to find something else to do."

Promise

Redgrave, who famously invited people to shoot him if they saw him near a boat after winning gold in Atlanta four years ago, says he means it this time.

"I can't see myself carrying on, but after what I said before I suppose no-one would believe me."

Redgrave explained that the reason he changed his mind after Atlanta was that he saw the Sydney Games as a marvellous opportunity to compete again in a country with a proud tradition of the outdoor life.

"I didn't want to be sitting at home thinking I could have been there," he said.

Asked to compare those thoughts with Athens, he replied: "I'm not getting that feeling at all."

Three-time gold medallist Matthew Pinsent said: "Carrying on sounds like a nice idea, but we all need a break and a rest first.

Strain

"After that we can all sit down individually and discuss things.

"If I decide that carrying on is on the agenda, I'll have to make some phone calls but more than anything right now I just need a break."

Tim Foster, who could have missed out on glory due a series of injuries, said he would "love to carry on" but any decision would depend on whether his back would hold up to the strain.

James Cracknell said he could not look further than starting law school when he returns to England.

"I've got an exam to sit as soon as I get off the plane," he said.

  • Early viewing figures indicate that a UK audience of 6.6m stayed up to watch Great Britain's coxless four clinch victory at around 0030 BST.

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