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Olympic champion rower Eric Murray retires

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 30/04/2017

New Zealand double Olympic champion Eric Murray. © USA Today Sports New Zealand double Olympic champion Eric Murray. New Zealand double Olympic champion Eric Murray is retiring from rowing, saying his love for the sport has ebbed away.

He told Woman's Day magazine he has decided to call it quits after 69 unbeaten races so he can focus on his family; wife Jackie and five-year-old son Zac.

Murray and coxless pair crewmate Hamish Bond won gold at the London and Rio Olympics and are unbeaten internationally since 2009.

Murray has not been available for international competitions in 2017 while Bond has also taken a break from rowing to focus on road cycling.

The 34-year-old Murray said he simply couldn't motivate himself to undergo another four-year Olympic campaign.

"I always said as long as my mind, my body and my heart were in it, then I could do this for as long as I like," Murray told the magazine.

"My mind's been pretty good, my body's been pretty good, but it was my heart that was on the fence. So, it's time to go."

The joy of winning was something that had also waned for he and Bond, Murray said.

"When we won a race, it was like, job done. We didn't get that elation anymore."

Murray had knee surgery after the Olympics but had returned to training before making his decision.

He had considered taking up a seat in the eights crew as a fresh challenge but had decided against it.

Murray and Bond won six world championship titles in the coxless pair, as well as one in the coxed pair.

Murray was also a member of a world champion coxless four in 2007.

He was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2013 New Year Honours, for his services to rowing.

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