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Gladding brings career to an end

September 26, 2012 16:39 pm

British diver Monique Gladding has ended her decade-long career just over a month after competing at an Olympics for the first time.

Gladding, 31, defied the odds to appear in London after she almost lost her life following a horror accident at an event in Russia in February 2011.

The Sheffield diver hit her head against the 10-metre platform and fell unconscious into the water, with her coach and husband Steve watching on, before she had to be pulled to safety from the bottom of the pool.

Despite that Gladding made a remarkable return to diving's highest board before booking her Olympic place for the first time - albeit after surviving an appeal from team-mate Tonia Couch - in the 10m platform at London.

Gladding failed to progress beyond the first round after sustaining a neck injury just days before her competition after which she hinted her latest injury setback could signal the end of her career.

After seeing a neck specialist following the Olympics, and speaking with family and friends, the South African-born diver confirmed her retirement on her Twitter page.

"12 yrs ago I boarded the plane from S.A. Waved my family & friends goodbye, a tear in my eye, hope in my heart & a dream of being an Olympian," Gladding said.

"I had no idea of the path that I was about to go on. Diving has brought me some of my greatest joy, my deepest sadness & everything in between.

"I have had the privilege to travel the World, the honour to compete for Britain on a World Stage, I made friends for life and I Fell in love.

"And finally this Summer I fulfilled my dream. It has been a roller-coaster that never failed to challenge me right till the very, very end. I look fwd to new beginnings, new memories made & having new dreams to chase."

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