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Former Olympic champion Hellebaut retires

BRUSSELS (AFP) –

Tia Hellebaut holds a press conference in Paal on March 6, 2013

Belgian high jump Olympic champion Tia Hellebaut holds a press conference in Paal on March 6, 2013. Belgian Tia Hellebaut, the women’s high jump champion at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, has called an end to her career during a press conference.

Belgian Tia Hellebaut, the women’s high jump champion at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, has called an end to her career during a press conference on Wednesday.

Hellebaut said she no longer had the strength to compete at the top level.

The 35-year-old could finish only eighth at the European Indoor Championships in Gothenburg last week.

Hellebaut also competed in the heptathlon during her career and was indoor pentathlon world champion in 2008 as well as high jump European champion two years earlier.

She had twice before interrupted her career to have children but has now called time on her athletic endeavours.

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