‘I think that is my last’: Ellie Simmonds retires from Paralympics after final Tokyo 2020 race
Ellie Simmonds is unlikely to compete at a Paralympic Games again
Ellie Simmonds has suggested the Tokyo Paralympics will be her last after she was disqualified in what is likely to be her final Games race.
Simmonds is one of British para sport’s most recognisable athletes after bursting on to the scene in Beijing before going on to win eight medals including five golds across three Games before Tokyo.
Her final race, the S6 400m freestyle final, saw her disqualified with the reasons yet to be made clear.
China’s Yuyan Jiang won in a new world-record time with Simmonds’ fellow Brits Maisie Summers-Newton fourth and Grace Harvey sixth.
There remains a chance Simmonds competes at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham next year but her Paralympic career now appears to be over.
“I think that is my last competition,” she said after the race. “To go to four Paralympic games, including a home games and to come away with eight Paralympic medals and being part of that Paralympic movement as well. So I think for me, yes, this is going to be my last but I will go home and evaluate.
“I’m not just saying that because I’m gutted or anything like that, I knew going into these Games this was going to be the last and I don’t think I could go for another three years. I’m leaving it at the right time, I love it, I’ve absolutely had a wonderful competition and I’ve loved every minute of it.
“I can’t thank everyone enough for the support, my coach, my parents, my family, everyone, for getting me to these Games and the other four Paralympics which is amazing. There’s no words to describe it. I love the Paralympics and I love everyone on the team, it’s just been incredible but I’m looking forward to going home.
“Not having your family here in the crowd has been hard, for me they’re like my comfort blanket, even though I’ve been going for so many years.”
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