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Australia’s most decorated Olympic cyclist Anna Meares retires

Canberra, Oct 16 (IANS) Australia’s most decorated Olympic cyclist Anna Meares on Sunday called time on her career after competing at four Olympics and winning six Olympic medals.

Meares, 33, was Australia’s flagbearer at the Rio Games in August, and made the announcement via a statement on Cycling Australia’s website, reports Xinhua.

Meares, a two-time Olympic gold medallist and a six-time Olympic and eight-time Commonwealth Games medallist, said she was “proud” to represent Australia over a 15-year career.

“I am really proud of my longevity, also proud of the level of high consistency in my performances and results during my career,” she said.

“It is hard to close this chapter, because it is a bloody big one, but I am really excited about the doors opening in to the next chapter of my life,” she added.

Thought of by many as Australia’s greatest ever track cyclist, Meares will be remembered not only for her performances inside the velodrome, but also for her “resilience and strength.”

Just months out from the Beijing Olympics in 2008, Meares suffered a number of fractures in her neck after a track crash. She went on to recover in time to compete, and won a silver medal in the sprint event.

“I have been challenged extensively throughout my career and I have thoroughly enjoyed all of those challenges,” Meares said.

“I feel that I have grown with each experience and they have left me a better athlete, a better person,” she said.

Meares had previously signalled that she might continue her career until after the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

A statement from Cycling Australia said Meares had left a legacy on the sport which would be “felt for years to come.”

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