Saturday, November 27 2021

Dani Stevens celebrates with her gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Games (Photo by Mark Kolbe / Getty Images)

Australian Olympian Dani Stevens ended his illustrious discus career.

Twelve years after becoming the world’s youngest record champion, Stevens announced her retirement from the sport on Sunday.

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The 33-year-old burst onto the world at the 2009 world titles in Berlin when she won gold at just 21.

No male or female pitcher before or since had achieved the feat at such a young age.

She was a ubiquitous figure on national teams for over 15 years and courageously overcame a serious neck injury. play a fourth Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2021, tying an Australian athlete’s record in track and field.

Stevens’ impressive list of accomplishments includes gold and silver medals at world titles, back-to-back Commonwealth victories in 2014 and 2018 and 14 national record titles.

She is also one of nine athletes to hold world titles at the junior, junior and senior levels – an exclusive group that also includes Usain Bolt, Russian pole vault queen Yelena Isinbayeva and fellow Australian Jana Pittman.

“I had always said that as long as my mind and body could, I would keep going, I would keep training and keep competing internationally,” said Stevens, 33.

“I took the time a few years ago and decided I wanted to compete in the Tokyo Olympics for my fourth Games, and I did things so meticulously, from training to nutrition and weight loss. sleep.

“I’ve gotten to the point where I’m really happy and happy with everything I’ve accomplished in my athletic career and I feel the time has come to take a step back.”

Dani Stevens, pictured here in action at the 2017 World Athletics Championships.

Dani Stevens in action at the 2017 World Athletics Championships (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein / Getty Images for IAAF)

The athletics world pays tribute to Dani Stevens

Stevens’ best Olympic campaign came in Rio in 2016, when she finished fourth, missing the bronze medal by just 44cm.

The following year, she won silver at the 2017 world titles in London behind longtime Croatian rival Sandra Perkovic with a personal best 69.64m.

That massive throw would have been enough to win gold at any of the previous 12 world championships or the last five Olympics.

Stevens was forced to have spinal surgery in early 2020 after breaking the C4 / 5 disc in her neck in a gym accident.

After 14 months of rehab, Stevens returned to action and reserved her spot on the Australian squad for the Tokyo Olympics, where she lost in the qualifying round.

Stevens paid tribute to her trainer Denis Knowles, who has been her mentor since she started playing the sport in Little Athletics.

“He has sacrificed as much as I have, if not more, when it comes to getting away from his family and everything that comes with it,” she said in a statement.

“Denis has been there for me all the time, through the ups and downs of not just athletics but my life.

“We are closer than most athletes and coaches and I believe that is why we have been so successful.”

Dani Stevens’ incredible discus career

  • Gold medal at the 2009 world championships

  • Silver at the 2017 World Championships

  • Australian record tying four Olympic campaigns, with a better fourth place in 2016

  • Gold medal at the 2014 and 2018 Commonwealth Games

  • Gold medal at the 2005 World Junior Championships

  • Gold medal at the 2006 World Junior Championships

  • 14 Australian discus titles – the highest number of Australians in a single discipline

with PAA

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