Midland Olympic hero Denise Lewis today admitted her long battle against injury had convinced her the time was right to quit athletics.
The West Bromwich athlete, who heptathlon gold at the Sydney games in 2000, had been expected to compete at both the World Championships in Helsinki in six weeks and chase a third title in next spring's Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.
But after revealing her "emotional" decision to retire the 32-year-old said injuries and form had convinced her the time was right.
"It is something that happens to you when you know it is enough," she said.
"I have had months of deliberation and have had setbacks already this year. Someone has given me a sign and I'm listening to my inner voice."
Lewis told Radio Five Live: "It is a very emotional decision. I do not make decisions very lightly and it was a combination of the injuries I have had to face and constant battle of trying to reproduce my form.
"There comes a point when you have to take stock and you just don't want to be in pain any more."
Lewis, who is due to fly out to Singapore with the London 2012 bid team for next week's crucial final vote, claimed her first major title at the 1994 Commonwealth Games and retained it four years later in Kuala Lumpur.
The victory in Malaysia came only weeks after winning the European title in Budapest and the following year, as she shrugged off injury problems, she finished runner-up at the World Championships.
Then came her monumental Olympic Games success in Sydney, where she battled against a recurring Achilles injury which at one stage looked like preventing her from completing the heptathlon competition.
Lewis took time out of the sport after becoming pregnant and giving birth to a daughter in April 2002 and has been hit by injury since.
Her next serious competition was not until the World Championships in Paris in 2003, where she finished fifth.
Having limped out of the Olympic trials in Manchester last July she withdrew from the Olympic heptathlon in Athens less than two months later with two disciplines remaining after falling out of contention for a medal.
Lewis has not competed this summer and, although she claimed she wanted to compete in August's World Championships, she had not attained the qualifying standard of 6,100 points.
She concluded: "I have thought it through and I am clear. I am sitting here and I am happy. I am thinking about my future and it is a future that does not include participating in athletics."
More on this story in Thursday's Birmingham Post