20th July 2009 – For immediate release –
TIm Benjamin, Great Britain’s top 400m runners for the past 8 years, has announced his retirement from athletics. He ends his career as the 6th fastest British athlete of all-time behind such one lap greats as Iwan Thomas, Roger Black, Mark Richardson, David Grindley and Derek Redmond.
His personal best of 44.56 secs was set in the IAAF World Athletics Final in Monaco in 2005.
“It is with both great sadness and excitement that I am announcing my retirement from athletics with immediate effect.
The injuries and illnesses I have endured over the last four years have been well documented, with my absence from last summer’s Olympics Games representing the pinnacle of disappointment and frustration.
Although this decision may seem sudden, it is the culmination of incessant setbacks. I have already talked about how my 2008 disappointment almost caused me to leave the sport, but I was determined to end my career on my own terms when the time arrived.
I feel incredibly proud that I have come back from a very difficult period in my life to achieve the qualifying time for the 2009 IAAF World T&F Championships and win the European Cup for my country. Taking an individual or relay spot in Berlin from an aspiring 2012 Olympian would be disingenuous and unfair when I am unable to enjoy competing the way I used to.
I must thank the many, many people who have supported me over the last decade. There are many, but most notably, my wife Natalie and family, my early coaches at Cardiff AAC, Jock Anderson, Tony Lester, Colin Jackson, all my training partners, my manager Ricky Simms and the team at PACE Sports Management. Most recently my collaboration with Linford Christie and his training group has been refreshing and enjoyable. I am thankful for the continued support I have received from Dave Scott and Nike – my long time sponsors.
Everybody at UK Athletics, in particular the medical team, has been fantastic. They have certainly had their work cut out with me but have never wavered in their support and dedication. I also thank all the media who reported on my performances over the years.
I am enormously grateful for the opportunities and friends this amazing sport has brought me and look forward to using the passion I have for it in another way in the near future.”
For further biographical details see http://www.
Photos – PACE Sports Management