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Shane Brathwaite from Barbados is putting together an illustrious sprint hurdles career

Renowned Barbadian sprint hurdler Shane Brathwaite bid farewell to his illustrious athletics career and announced his retirement on Wednesday.

The 34-year-old, celebrated for his achievements as a Commonwealth Games silver medalist and Pan American Games champion, shared his decision with local media, expressing both the difficulty of his choice and his sense of peace about it.

Brathwaite’s retirement comes after he suffered injury setbacks that sidelined him from major competitions, including the World Championships in Budapest last year and early-season events this year. These challenges prompted Brathwaite to reflect on his future in the sport, recognizing that his reduced physical fitness could hinder his chances of qualifying for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, France.

In an interview with CBC TV Barbados, Brathwaite conveyed the solemnity of his decision, saying, “I have officially retired from the sport of athletics.” Explaining this, he cited the toll the past eight months have taken on his body as a crucial factor in his choice to step away from competition.

Notable milestones

Brathwaite’s impressive career saw him reach notable milestones, including a career-best time of 13.21 seconds, which helped him secure bronze at the Pan Am Games in Toronto nine years ago. He also showed his talent on the world stage by reaching the final of the men’s sprint hurdles at the World Championships in London (2017) and Doha, Qatar (2019), finishing sixth both times.

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Brathwaite expressed his gratitude for the support he received throughout his journey and expressed his appreciation to his supporters, coaches and fellow athletes. He noted: “There are so many people, so many coaches who have played a role in my career, and it was always an honor to compete for my country.”

Despite sharing similarities in birthplace, last name and specialty with 2009 world champion Ryan Brathwaite, the two athletes are not related. Shane Brathwaite leaves behind a legacy of excellence and sportsmanship and has left an indelible mark on athletics in Barbados.