Phelps retiring at right time: Soviet gymnast Latynina

August 3rd, 2012 - 8:34 pm ICT by IANS  

Michael Phelps London, Aug 3 (IANS/RIA Novosti) “American swimmer Michael Phelps is right to quit the sport after breaking my record of 18 Olympic medals,” says former Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina.

Phelps Thursday confirmed on his retirement after the London Olympics.

Phelps won his 19th medal Tuesday with gold in the 4×200 freestyle relay, and added his 20th by beating Ryan Lochte to gold in the 200 metres individual medley.

“When I spoke to him about sport, he said that he’d got so tired that these Olympics will be his last and his legs won’t be in the pool any more,” Latynina told R-Sport Thursday.

“I told him that’s the right decision because I think that, no matter how old someone is, if you’re getting pleasure from what you do, from competing, from your training, then obviously just compete. But if you’ve had enough and it’s not for joy, then you need to leave.”

Latynina, who was born in Ukraine and now lives in Russia, said that she had enjoyed Phelps’ career.

“All athletes should be pleased that a person like him exists who demonstrates the perfection of human ability,” she said.

“Although obviously I’d like it if he’d been born in our country,” she joked.

Phelps, 27, has two more chances to add to his medal tally when he competes in Friday’s final of the 100 metres butterfly and in the 4×100 metres medley relay, which starts Friday with the final Saturday.

–IANS/RIA Novosti
bs/vt

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