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NATHAN Douglas is eyeing up a final medal of an illustrious career as he prepares to retire following the British Championships this weekend.
The Oxford City AC triple jumper will be aiming for his ninth national title to add to a CV which also boasts two European Championship silver medals and two appearances at the Olympic Games.
The 39-year-old goes for triple jump gold at 1.02pm on Sunday, 18 years after winning the first of his eight British Championship titles in Manchester.
He returns to the city this weekend, aiming to go out on a high.
“Obviously it would be amazing, I’m always going to give it my best shot,” said the two-time Olympian.
“I’ll try my best to get in the medals and win it if I can, but I’m definitely not in the shape I have been in the past few years.
“The most important thing is being able to retire on my own terms, there aren’t many athletes that have been able to do that.
“I’ve had a 22-year career, I’ve had some absolutely horrendous injuries which a lot of doctors told me I shouldn’t have come back from, so I’m really happy to go out on my own terms.
“I’m just going to enjoy myself and say my goodbyes to the sport.
“I competed in 2020 and 2021 but it’s just not the same when you haven’t got a crowd there.
“I’m really looking forward to getting back out in front of a crowd and hopefully they can give me a bit of a send-off.”
— Nathan Douglas (@NathanJDouglas) June 9, 2022
Douglas announced his retirement plan back in February, initially with the aim of participating in his fourth Commonwealth Games, which start at the end of next month.
On Sunday though, Douglas is conscious some of his fellow athletes will be out to try and beat him for the final time.
“I think some might want to celebrate with me, I’m not too sure,” he said.
“Everybody’s individual, I’m sure some won’t care and will just want to compete and beat me.
“Others will probably be quite respectful and that’s what you normally get in the competition scene anyway.
“Earlier in the year I was lucky enough to be in California training and I had some college kids there saying ‘I can’t believe you’re over here, I’ve been following your whole career and it’s amazing to meet you and compete against you’.
“For me, that’s such an amazing experience because I wasn’t expecting that at all.
“To be able to make that impact on the other side of the world is fantastic.”