Zelezny announces retirement plan

Three-time Olympic javelin champion Jan Zelezny has announced plans to retire at the end of the season.

The 39-year-old, who holds the world record of 98.48m, said he still hoped to compete at the European Championships in Gothenburg in August.

“I’d like to finish where I started,” said the Czech, whose first appearance at the European Championships was in Stuttgart back in 1986.

Zelezny said he would continue to work for the IOC and coach in Prague.

“It was not a difficult decision,” added Zelezny.

"The years are passing and you can not prevent that. You cannot stay at the top of a sport all your life.

“I have been fortunate to continue for so long - I had a gift from God.”

Zelezny won Olympic gold in Barcelona, Atlanta and Sydney, and also claimed World Championship titles in 1993, 1995 and 2001 as well as setting five world records.

The former army officer has been struggling with a persistent Achilles injury in recent seasons, a problem which kept him out of last year’s World Championships.

Zelezny announced his plans at a news conference in Prague, before travelling to South Africa for warm weather training.