Athletics: Track and field couple announce joint retirement

Ashton Eaton and Brianne Theisen-Eaton in a photo from their joint Instagram account "weareeaton".
Ashton Eaton and Brianne Theisen-Eaton in a photo from their joint Instagram account "weareeaton".PHOTO: INSTAGRAM

TORONTO, Canada - US Olympic decathlon champion Ashton Eaton and his wife, Canadian heptathlon star Brianne Theisen-Eaton, have retired from track and field.

The couple, both of whom are 28, made the announcement in a joint statement posted online on Wednesday (Jan 4), said Canada's Olympic network CBC.

Ashton Eaton won gold at the last two Olympics and the last two world championships. He is also the decathlon world record holder.

"It's my time to depart from athletics, to do something new," Eaton said in his half of the statement. 

"Frankly there isn't much more I want to do in sport."

Theisen-Eaton was a bronze medallist at the Rio Games and a silver medallist at both the 2013 and 2015 world championships.

She said she felt "mentally exhausted" after Rio.

"I have never been so thankful to be finished something in my life," Theisen-Eaton said. "I felt like I never wanted to do another heptathlon again. "

After considering her future for a few months, she said, Theisen-Eaton made the decision to retire.

"I no longer have the passion for track and field or the heptathlon that I used to because I know I can't advance any further in the sport," she said. 

"I've given it all I can, and I refuse to come back and half-ass it because I love and respect this event and sport too much."