Ruth Beitia in the high jump at the IAAF World Championships (© Getty Images)
Olympic high jump champion Ruth Beitia, one of Spain’s most successful athletes, announced her retirement on Wednesday (18).
A winner of 15 medals from global and continental championships, Beitia's 2016 campaign was her best season to date. She won her third successive European title and ended the summer as the IAAF Diamond League champion. But her career highlight came at the Olympic Games in Rio where she struck gold.
It was the culmination of an international career which started at the 1995 European U20 Championships and included appearances at 21 senior global championships.
The 38-year-old’s final competition was the IAAF World Championships London 2017, where she finished 12th. Earlier in the year she earned the silver medal at the European Indoor Championships in Belgrade and jumped a season’s best of 1.98m indoors on home soil in Madrid.
“Ruth has always been an example on and off the track, said Raúl Chapado, president of the Spanish Athletics Federation (RFEA). “Beyond her great achievements, she has also inspired many young athletes in our country. Admired by her teammates and her rivals, she will now continue to work to make our sport bigger.”
RFEA for the IAAF