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Olympic champions Jenn Suhr, Michelle Carter set retirements from track and field

Jenn Suhr

US’ Jennifer Suhr celebrates after winning the women’s pole vault final at the athletics event of the London 2012 Olympic Games on August 6, 2012 in London. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/GettyImages)

AFP via Getty Images

Olympic track and field champions Jenn Suhr (pole vault) and Michelle Carter (shot put) announced their retirements on Thursday.

Suhr, a 2012 Olympic gold medalist and 2008 silver medalist, scratched out of this week’s USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships. She had competed at every nationals dating to 2006.

“The words will come to me soon but my heart and soul are ready for the next phase of my life,” was posted on the 40-year-old Suhr’s social media. “Pole vault unlocked more than I could have wished for and let me experience more than I could have dreamed of.”

Suhr ended the reign of Russian Yelena Isinbayeva on a windy and rainy night in London in 2012. Suhr still holds the highest indoor clearance in history of 5.02 meters from the 2013 U.S. Championships.

Carter, who in 2016 became the first U.S. Olympic women’s shot put champion, said this week will mark her last USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships. If she makes the team for July’s world championships, she will compete at that meet, which like nationals is in Eugene, Oregon.

“Your girl is going to finally put the shoes up, lay the shot down,” Carter, 36, said in a social media video. “This year makes my 25th season, and I can’t believe that I have been able to have such a great, long career. But I do feel that it is time for me to move on, and it is a little bittersweet because this has been part of my life for most of my life.”

Sunday’s shot put at nationals marks her first competition since April 2021 and after having a benign tumor on her right ankle removed last year, keeping her out of the Olympic Trials.

The top three outside of the already qualified Maggie Ewen are in line to qualify for the world championships. Carter will likely also have to hit the world championships qualifying standard of 18.50 meters, which she last registered in 2019.

Carter, nicknamed the “Shot Diva,” made three Olympic teams, won seven U.S. outdoor titles and earned two world outdoor championships bronze medals.

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