Ellie Simmonds says Paralympic career is over after missing out on medal

3 months ago 18
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Ellie Simmonds in actionEllie Simmonds has won five Paralympic golds, across the Beijing, London and Rio Games

Ellie Simmonds said her Paralympic career was at an end after missing out on a medal in her final race in Tokyo.

The five-time Paralympic champion finished fifth in the S6 400m freestyle but was initially disqualified for an issue with one of her turns before a British Swimming appeal was successful.

However, it means the 26-year-old has failed to win a medal at her fourth Games.

"I don't think I could go for another three years," she told Channel 4.

"I'm leaving it at the right time, I love it, I've absolutely had a wonderful competition and I've loved every minute of it."

An emotional Simmonds said that she would "go home and evaluate" before a decision on whether next year's Commonwealth Games will be part of her plans.

The programme for Birmingham features a 100m breaststroke race for Simmonds' category and would give her a final chance to compete in front of a home crowd.

But Paris will not be on the agenda for the Briton who has been the face of the sport since she made her debut in Beijing aged 13, winning two golds, and has gone on to inspire a new generation of athletes.

Simmonds followed up her Beijing double with two more golds in London, where she had to deal with the pressure being one of the faces of the Games, and then claimed another gold in Rio.

She took a break after Rio before returning to action in 2018 but the standard within the category has moved dramatically forward with new athletes emerging, including Briton Maisie Summers-Newton who won two golds in Tokyo.

She added: "I think that is my last competition. To go to four Paralympic Games, including a home Games, and to come away with eight Paralympic medals and being part of that Paralympic movement as well... so I think for me, yes, this is going to be my last but I will go home and evaluate.

"I'm not just saying that because I'm gutted or anything like that, I knew going into these Games this was going to be the last and I don't think I could go for another three years."

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