Italian marathoner and Olympic gold medalist retires at age 39.
Stefano Baldini, the Italian who won gold in the marathon at the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004, announced he is retiring from competitive running.
“I am sad to end my career at 39 but it’s the right time,” Baldini said. “Perhaps I stayed a bit too long but nobody was able to beat me in Italy. I could have ended it after Beijing but I made the decision to continue for two more years well aware of all risks.”
Originally planning to retire after the Giro Al Sas road race on October 9, Baldini was forced to withdraw with an injury. Baldini ran 27 marathons from 1995 through 2010, posting a personal best of 2:07:22 at London in 2006. He won Olympic gold in 2004, captured two world championship bronze medals in 2001 and 2003, and won two European titles in 1998 and 2006. He also won the IAAF World Half Marathon Championship in 1996, a moment he called the defining one in his career.
“The World Half Marathon title was very important for my career because it made me aware that the marathon was my distance,” Baldini said. “1996 was a key season in my career.”
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