Wimbledon-based Anna Hemmings has revealed the thought of three more years training to make the London Olympics was behind her decision to retire last month.

The 32-year-old six-time world marathon canoe champion quit the sport in April after a glittering career that included two Olympic appearances, despite missing two years through illness.

The Elmbridge Canoe Club star, who married last year, has not sat in a boat since her last Great Britain training camp in March after last year’s disappointment of failing to reach the Olympic final in Beijing.

And the world’s most successful female canoeist insists she has no regrets.

“In the end it was pretty clear it was the right decision. I wasn’t enjoying training as much as I should and didn’t have as much motivation,” she said.

“I feel like I’ve moved into a different phase of my life.

"There is always a niggling thought of whether I could carry on to another Olympics or achieve more in sprint racing.

“I haven’t achieved everything I wanted to, but to reach two Olympics is an achievement in itself.

"An Olympian is what I dreamed of becoming, so to have done that is special.”

Hemmings was struck down with chronic fatigue syndrome in April 2003 and was sidelined for two years, leaving her to question her future in a sport she first took up as an eight-year-old.

She battled back to win marathon World Championship gold in 2005 - successfully defending her title twice more in 2006 and 2007.

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