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    Dramatic Decision and Tears of Anna Kiełbasińska: “No Paris, It’s Over”

    Polish sprinter Anna Kiełbasińska has announced her retirement after a painful exit from the 400m heats at the Polish Athletics Championships in Bydgoszcz. Overcome with emotion, Kiełbasińska declared, “No Paris, so I’m ending my career. I have an Olympic medal, but there’s regret that I didn’t run in the final in Tokyo, because I should have.”

    Kiełbasińska, who earned a silver medal in the 4x400m relay at the Tokyo Olympics (participating in the heats) and a medal at the 2019 World Championships, as well as multiple European Championships accolades, has called time on her illustrious career spanning over a decade.

    Reflecting on her struggles, she shared, “I have no goal, so why should I continue? I don’t want it to sound so dramatic, but my health has taken a severe toll recently. I had to skip the last season because I couldn’t run. I underwent risky surgeries on both legs, knowing that I wanted to stay active in life. If I didn’t try, I knew I wouldn’t make it to the Paris Olympics.”

    Despite her determination, the pain persisted. “I told myself I’d return to running if it didn’t hurt. It still hurts, but I returned and stood at the start line. I worked hard for eight months post-surgery, mostly away from home, adhering to a strict training regimen. I believed I could do it. Unfortunately, while one leg healed well, the other refused to run, much like a toxic relationship where love pulls you in, but negative forces hold you back,” she explained.

    Kiełbasińska poignantly compared her experience to being tantalized with a candy she couldn’t eat. Despite her disappointment, she looks forward to the future with plans to remain active in sports, more inclined towards becoming a sports official than a coach.

    “I thought I’d retire after Tokyo, but everything was going wonderfully, and it was hard not to continue. However, with Paris out of the picture, the decision to retire is clear,” she said, ruling out any return to competitive running.

    Reflecting on her career, she noted that physical and mental strength came from her decisions along the way. “Maybe I should have switched to 400m two years earlier. I had those thoughts, but things didn’t align. I hold no grudges; I’m grateful to everyone who contributed to my career,” she concluded, speaking from Warsaw, where she spent many years with SKLA Sopot.

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