Road To The Olympic Games

Triple jumper Tereza Marinova retires

Former Olympic champion triple jumper Tereza Marinova of Bulgaria announced her retirement due to a lingering injury on Thursday, five weeks before the start of the Beijing Games.

Former Olympic champion triple jumper Tereza Marinova announced her retirement Thursday due to a lingering injury five weeks before the start of the Beijing Games.

The 30-year-old, who became the fourth Bulgarian woman to win an Olympic athletics title when she took gold in Sydney in 2000, had been dealing with an Achilles' tendon injury that worsened over the past six months.

"This was the hardest decision in my life," Marinova said at a news conference in Sofia, Bulgaria. "I wanted very much to take part in the competition in Beijing, but then I realized that it would not be enough for me just to be there.

"I was hoping that the Games would be my farewell competition but I had to accept that I won't be in my best shape, so I decided to quit."

Marinova, a former world and European indoor champion, captured a bronze medal at the 2001 world track and field championships in Edmonton. She finished sixth at the most recent European championships, in 2006.

With files from the Associated Press