Athletics: Australian race walker Deakes retires

Australian race walker Nathan Deakes on Friday announced his immediate retirement from athletics after a long career which included a world title and a record in the 50km.

Deakes, 35, also won a bronze medal in the men's 20km walk at the 2004 Athens Olympics.

But his biggest successes were in the longer event -- a 50km world record (3:35:47) set in December 2006 and a world championships gold medal the following year in Osaka, Japan.

Deakes, who withdrew from the Beijing Olympics because of injury, last competed internationally at the 2012 London Games.

"London was always slated as my final race," he said.

"The last four-and-a-half years have been incredibly difficult with constant injury and not being able to complete the training loads that I once could."

Deakes, the second fastest 50km walker in history, said he wanted to remain involved in athletics and would consider coaching.