Two-time European champion Grenot hangs up her spikes

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Two-time European 400m champion Libania Grenot from Italy has announced her retirement from athletics.

Grenot, 35, is expecting her first child later this year and while she plans to stay involved in the sport, she doesn’t intend to return to competitive athletics.

Speaking to Gazzetta dello Sport, Grenot said: 'At this point I declare my career ended. In July I'll be 36 years old - on the track I got everything I wanted.'

Grenot won back-to-back European titles over 400m in Zurich 2014 and Amsterdam 2016, becoming the first athlete since world record-holder Marita Koch in 1986 to successfully defend their 400m title.

Grenot also won three bronze medals at the European Championships - including two retroactive bronze medals from the 2010 European Championships - but she rates making the Olympic final in Rio de Janeiro as perhaps the best moment of her career.

“I believe the final of the Rio 2016 Games [was the greatest moment] because I got there after missing the goal in Beijing 2008 and London 2012, finishing ninth twice. It is a demonstration that I never gave up, that I have always tried. When I fell, I stood up,” she said.

Grenot competed in a major senior championships for the first time at the IAAF World Championships in Edmonton in 2001 when she competed for Cuba in the 4x400m relay at the age of 18. Grenot has represented Italy since 2008, competing in three Olympic Games, four World Championships and five European Championships over the last decade.

Her last medals came at the 2018 Mediterranean Games in Tarragona, Spain. She won silver in the 400m before anchoring Italy to a gold medal in the 4x400m relay.

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