Mark Hunter has called time on his highly successful competitive rowing career – admitting the decision has been a long time coming but that his London 2012 Olympic hurt is no more.
Hunter, who ranked 13th as part of the lightweight coxless four on his Olympic debut at Athens 2004, claimed gold in the lightweight double scull with Zac Purchase four years later at Beijing 2008.
They claimed their first world title together in New Zealand two years later before defending their crown at the next global gathering in 2011 however they couldn’t repeat the trick at London 2012.
Hunter and Purchase were denied in the Olympic final at Eton Dorney by Danish pair Mads Rasmussen and Rasmus Quist Hansen with the 35-year-old not set to return to the water again.
And Hunter, writing in his column for the Evening Standard, while saddened insisted he long knew he would retire and revealed he has eventually come to terms with what happened in London.
He said: “I’m retiring. It’s weird to write that and it actually makes me feel sad but it’s the right time to go. Realistically, I’ve known for a while that’s what I’m going to do.
“I’m not going back to rowing, I’m done. I’ve got as much as I can out of the sport and I don’t want to be one of those athletes who carries on for the sake of it and then simply fades away.
“It’s had its ups and downs. London was the big low. Missing out on the gold there is something I can’t go back and change.
“Zac [Purchase] and I did everything we could and I’m still gutted we didn’t win. But I can talk about it now without it hurting. It’s probably taken as long as eight or nine months to get to that point.
“The reality is we weren’t working as well together as a team last season and there were lots of different things going on behind the scenes.”
© Sportsbeat 2013