Oxford City AC Olympian Nathan Douglas announces intention to retire

NATHAN Douglas is determined to enjoy the final chapter after announcing it will be his final year before retiring.

The Oxford City AC three-time jumper has built an impressive CV over three decades, becoming British champions eight times and reaching two Olympic Games.

But Douglas, who turns 40 in December, has decided to end his 22-year career at the end of 2022.

The veteran’s final season begins at this weekend’s British Indoor Championships in Birmingham, where he will compete for triple jump gold on Saturday.

Douglas is based in the city, which will host the Commonwealth Games this summer.

And the 39-year-old revealed that the idea of ​​taking part in the event for the fourth time was one of his final career goals.

He said: “It would be a great competition to retire for.

“I would love to aim for that, so I thought there was nothing to lose.

“We will see how the season goes. I’m excited and just looking to enjoy every competition.

“Knowing that every competition could be my last means I really look forward to the opportunity.”

Douglas admitted he might have retired earlier had not last year’s Tokyo Olympics been postponed for 12 months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

He was aiming to reach his third Games, after Athens in 2004 and Beijing four years later, but did not make the qualifying distance.

Douglas said, “I’ve always taken each year as it comes.

“The pandemic has added a bit of longevity to my career.

“If the Olympics had been in 2020 and I had qualified I probably would have retired, but I knew I was training well so when they were postponed I couldn’t waste that preparation. .”

Douglas won his eighth British league title in September 2020, aged 37, but it all started at Oxford City three decades earlier.

He said: “It’s where I started at age seven, so I have fond memories of it.

“My first coach was Steve Hill and I have a lot to thank him for, he was one of the first people to give me that athletic buzz.

“When the time came to move on, he encouraged me to go – I remember I didn’t want to, but he thought he had taken me as far as he could, which shows the kind of a man he is.

“I have been asked several times to change clubs but I have never felt the need.

“I have always been very proud to wear the Oxford City shirt.”

The Olympian‘s niece Limara is one of the club’s youngest members and chairman Richard Hart has revealed Douglas remains a role model for the talented generation of youngsters.

He said: “They can walk into our clubhouse and see a picture on the wall of Nathan and of course that’s inspirational.

“They train day in and day out with that recall.

“Nathan and Hannah England have been through a generation of children, for 15 years they have been a very big inspiration.”

Hart added: “As an athlete he has remained at a very high level for many years, even though his event is really brutal.

“He really is an outstanding athlete and I hope that will be recognized.”

Naomi C. Amerson