Kelly Sotherton represents the Isle of Wight at the Island games as a 19-year-old.
FORMER Isle of Wight athlete Kelly Sotherton has announced her retirement from athletics.
The Olympic bronze medallist from 2004 and the Island’s top medal-winner from the Island Games, had tried to make a comeback in her chosen field, heptathlon, but injury has forced her to end her career.
The former Ryde High School student, 35, who also won bronze in the 2007 World Championships, has had surgery on prolapsed disc in her back meaning she cannot achieve the qualifying standard for the London Olympics in time.
Sotherton’s road to the London Olympics has been a rocky one, after first losing her UK Athletics funding, before injury forced her to concentrate solely on the 400m.
But she decided to return to heptathlon and qualify for London 2012, and things were going well until she pulled up with a back injury at a competition in Italy last month.
She told the Daily Telegraph: "I’m heartbroken if I’m honest, but I’m looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead instead, knowing that I gave everything I could to make it to what should be one of the greatest Olympics in history."
She also thanked her coach, Aston Moore, who has worked with her for the past eight years.