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Dutch hockey legend Paumen retires

173   //    16 Nov 2016, 18:24 IST

Amsterdam, Nov 16 (IANS) Penalty corner queen Maartje Paumen, the inspirational leader of the Netherlands women's hockey team that won the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games as well as the 2006 and 2014 World Cups, has announced her international retirement.

The 31-year-old, World Player of the Year in 2011 and 2012, quit the game after bagging a silver in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, capping a 12-year stellar career.

The three-time European champion, who has 195 goals from 235 matches, on Tuesday said it was a very difficult decision to retire but felt that it's time for "other things" in life.

"I've had a fantastic career in the Dutch national team. It was the time of my life. But now it's time for other things," Paumen said in a release.

"Yet it is so weird to stop Orange (the national team). It was a deliberate decision. Several people will be surprised. But after the Olympics, I had a strange feeling," added Paumen, who was part of the Dutch outfit that won four FIH Champions Trophy titles.

Paumen is the third player of a golden generation bidding farewell to the Dutch team. Earlier Naomi van As and Ellen Hoog also retired.

Paumen scored eleven goals in the Beijing Olympics in 2008, becoming the top scorer of the tournament. She's the all time top scorer of the Olympic hockey tournament.

Argentine legend Luciana Aymar, only player to have won eight World Player of the World award, wrote on Twitter: "Special day for hockey @MaartjePaumen stop playing, one of the most important players in the world and excellent person. All the best for you."