High jump great Blanka Vlasic retires

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Former double high jump world champion Blanka Vlasic has announced her retirement after injuries prevented her from competing at this year's Tokyo Olympics.

Vlasic, 37, won world titles in 2007 and 2009, as well as the European title in 2010.

She also won two world silvers and two Olympic medals, a silver from 2008 and bronze from 2016.

Her personal best 2.08 metres is just one centimetre below the world record of Bulgarian Stefka Kostadinova and still makes her the second highest woman jumper in history.

"Ever since Rio (2016), I have been trying to overcome injury, a full four years of hope that I will stand in front of the bar and challenge myself once again," Vlasic said on her website.

"I let the decision to end my career come naturally.

"Before I won bronze in Rio many people told me to give up as I have already done a lot in the sport.

"But if I had listened to them, I would not have won another Olympic medal, a medal that has a special meaning to me because I won it literally with one healthy leg.

"That competition took everything out of me, even what I didn't know I had.

"The years that followed brought an unending circle of innumerable rehabilitation treatments, hope, and then disappointment.

"Yet, although it would be evident at first glance to an outside observer that it was time to dedicate myself to new life challenges, the decision had to be mine."