Kenyan middle-distance runner Noah Ngeny, who won the 1,500-meter gold medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, announced his retirement on Thursday after a career cut short by injuries.
Ngeny, 28, has been slowed by recurring back and pelvis problems since a car accident in Kenya in 2001.
"The last few years have been frustrating," he said. "I have spent more time on the physiotherapy table than in my spikes." In Sydney, Ngeny overtook pre-race favorite Hicham El Guerrouj of Morocco in the final few meters to win the 1,500 in an Olympic record time of 3 minutes, 32.07 seconds. El Guerrouj was left sobbing on the track.
Ngeny had pushed El Guerrouj in a half-dozen other races, but had never beaten him until then.
"The Olympic gold medal was definitely the highlight of my running career," Ngeny said.
In 1999, Ngeny broke Sebastian Coe's 18-year-old world record in the rarely run 1,000 meters in Rieti, Italy. His time of 2:11.96 still stands.
Ngeny has not competed much since his car crash and failed to qualify for the 2004 Athens Olympics, where El Guerrouj won the 1,500 and 5,000 gold medals.