Andy Turner insists he’s ready to call time on his athletics career after he clattered a hurdle and crashed out of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
The defending 110m hurdles champion arrived in Scotland in confident mood but cut a very different image after the heats at Hampden Park.
Fighting back the tears, he blamed a ‘schoolboy error’ for his horror show and admitted that the upcoming European Championships in Zurich would be the last event of a career that has seen him attend two Olympics, three Commonwealth Games and win world bronze three years ago.
“I’ve no one to blame, it was my fault and I’m totally devastated,” he said. “Training has gone really well, maybe I tried to push too hard.
“But I made a crucial mistake at the first hurdle and that cost me even finishing the race. I was confident I could come here and at least make the final. I expected to come here and do better than I have done.
“Obviously defending my title would have been difficult, it’s a pretty tough field this time. But to not even make the final, to make such a big mistake when I haven’t been making them, it’s very hard to take.”
Turner’s decade in athletics has seen its share of peaks and valleys. He has frequently battled injury and was dropped from lottery funding four years ago, responding by finishing third in the world the following year.
But the 33-year old disappointed at the London 2012 Olympics and last year he battled an Achilles injury, while his mum also passed away.
“This is probably one of my top disappointments in sport,” he added. “I don’t want to be here making up the numbers, I want to be pushing for a medal.
“It’s certainly one of most devastating days on the track because I’ve worked so hard for this and I wanted it so badly.
“It’s the European Championships now but in my mind I’ve been thinking about calling it a day for a while.
“I’ve had a good innings and I’ve been making major championships for a decade, which is not a bad run. I still feel I can be competitive but there comes a time when you have to start thinking about other things.
“But I don’t want to go out like this so that’s why I am going to go to the Europeans and hopefully get my stuff together.”
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