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Pole vault star Alana Boyd retires

AAP logoAAP 26/10/2016

Australian pole vault record holder Alana Boyd has decided that the best year of her decorated career is the perfect time to bow out.

The 32-year-old announced her retirement on Wednesday, two months after being edged out on countback for a medal by New Zealand teenager Eliza McCartney at the Rio Olympics.

Boyd twice bettered her own national record in 2016, while her final clearance of 4.80m in Rio was only one centimetre shy of her career-best jump.

"Coming into this year, I was sure Rio would be my last hurrah, but I didn't expect to have the year I ended up having, bettering my PB twice and finishing fourth at the Olympic Games," said Boyd, who also won back-to-back Commonwealth titles in 2010 and 2014.

"After getting home from Rio, I had a good amount of time to reflect on my career and on my year.

"I do think I am capable of jumping even higher but I also realise there aren't any guarantees in sport."

The prospect of pushing through until the 2018 Commonwealth Games on home soil on the Gold Coast was an enticing one.

But in the end, the recently married Boyd decided now was the right time to move on.

"Going on for another year or another 18 months to take in the Commonwealth Games was an option," acknowledged Boyd.

"But I was the athlete I always wanted to be in Rio.

"I walked away from the Olympics very satisfied, very happy and very proud with what I'd achieved this year and through my whole career, even though there have been some ups and downs."

Boyd bounced back strongly after twice injuring her left ankle in 2016 - firstly at the world indoors in March and again at the Monaco Diamond League meet, just a month before the Rio Games.

She was coached for the majority of her career by father Ray, who won men's pole vault gold at the 1982 Commonwealth Games.

Her mother Denise Boyd (nee Robertson) was a two-time Olympic 200m finalist.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS FOR ALANA BOYD:

* Fourth at 2016 Olympics

* Gold medallist at 2010 and 2014 Commonwealth Games

* Bronze medallist at 2014 Continental Cup

* PB of 4.81m set in July 2016 is the national record

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