France's triple Olympic steeplechase medallist Mekhissi retires

French steeplechaser Mahiedine Mekhissi, a three-time Olympic medallist, announced on Tuesday he is calling time on his sporting career.

"I'm stopping because the desire is no longer there. I no longer take pleasure in going to training. I felt it was time to say stop," the 37-year-old told French newspaper l'Equipe.

Mekhissi was one of the few cross-country runners capable of challenging the dominant Kenyans in the 3,000m steeplechase.

He won silver in the distance at both the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympics and bronze in Rio in 2016.

He was also a two-time world bronze medallist in 2011 and 2013, and reigned supreme in Europe with five gold medals -- four in the 3,000m and one over 1,500m.

Mekhissi was infamously stripped of European gold in the 3,000m in 2014 for whipping off his jersey like a footballer in the home straight before crossing the line in Zurich first.

Two days later, he had his revenge by masterfully winning the 1500m.

Since his last European title in August 2018 in Berlin, Mekhissi has been plagued by injuries, in particular to an Achilles tendon, and had not returned to international level.

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