British long jump record holder, Shara Proctor has called time on her stellar career that included medals at world, European and Commonwealth games and a sixth place at the 2012 London Olympic Games.
Whilst she first took the British best mark in 2012, the 33-year-old flew to the current British long jump record of 7.07m in 2015 with her silver medal winning leap at the World Championships in Beijing. Proctor had led the competition going into the final round but was only bettered on the day by USA’s Tianna Bartoletta, who jumped a world lead of 7.14m to take the gold medal.
She has won bronze medals at the World Indoors in Istanbul in 2012, and at the European Championships in Berlin and the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, both in 2018. The women’s long jump has been one of the strongest events for the British team in recent years. In Berlin, Proctor was one of three British women long jumpers to make the final, for the first time in more than half a century, alongside Lorraine Ugen and Jazmin Sawyers.
The three-time British champion also has five Diamond League meeting victories on her CV.
She said, “This is a decision I have been thinking through for some time, and it is one I am blessed to feel truly happy and content with. As an athlete you know when you feel the drive to continue and when it becomes harder. I have had a feeling since later 2019 and it has continued until last June when I decided to take some time off.
“Although I returned and trained through the winter until March, I am happy now to finish, it is the perfect decision and time for me now. I know it is right because I am at peace and I can happily watch a track meet and enjoy it, and not feel frustrated or sad!
“I am so very happy to have represented Great Britain. In becoming part of the team I found a family, friends to compete with, train with… have breakfast with at championships! There has always been great camaraderie and the way they came together, I will always cherish those times.
“I am thankful to my family for their endless support and sticking by my side, it has been an up and down journey, as well as thanks to my coaches and training partners.”
Proctor began her career as a triple and long jumper but soon specialised in the long jump. The Birchfield Harrier has been based in Florida in the US in recent years. Born in Anguilla she is also the national record holder for the British overseas Territory. She has competed for Great Britain and Northern Ireland since 2011.
The Muller UK Athletics Championships in Manchester will feature a special presentation to mark Proctor’s retirement and celebrate a highly successful career and as guest of honour on Saturday afternoon she will present the medals following the women’s long jump event.