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Page last updated at 22:57 GMT, Friday, 22 January 2010

GB Olympic champion rower Steve Williams retires

(left to right) Tom James, Steve Williams, Peter Reed and Andy Triggs Hodge
Britain's coxless four beat Australia into second place in Beijing

Britain's double Olympic rowing champion Steve Williams has retired from international competition.

The 33-year-old, who took a year off after winning a gold in the four at the Beijing Games, told the insidethegames website: "I'm hanging up my oar."

Williams, who also won gold in Athens in 2004, said he informed David Tanner, British Rowing's performance director, of his decision in November.

He is now planning to develop a career as a motivational speaker.

Williams teamed up with James Cracknell, Matthew Pinsent and Ed Coode to win coxless four gold at the Athens Olympics in 2004.

Four years later, he repeated the feat with Andy Triggs Hodge, Peter Reed and Tom James in China.

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More rowing heroes set to return
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Power to your pull, with Andy Hodge
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Rowing on the BBC
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