Last dive as Nel calls time on star career

Last dive as Nel calls time on star career

Frustrating injuries and a desire to move on to other things in life were the main motivators in outstanding athlete Grant Nel announcing his retirement from the sport

CHAMPION Grant Nel is ready to pass the baton on to the rising stars of the diving world after announcing today that he was retiring from the sport.

With news that Nel, 29, was facing another shoulder reconstruction which would have ruled him out of contention for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games next year, he decided that he wasn't prepared to go through another tough rehab.

"After 20 years of diving I thought enough was enough,'' he said.

''I have had an absolute ball and received fantastic support from SASI, Diving SA, my family (wife Amanda) and all the coaches but I thought it was time.

''I just wasn't prepared to go through all of that again but I will still have the surgery but more for my well being and not to have to get back for a top competition.

''With the depth of diving in this country I am more than ready to see the next group coming through.''

Nel, South African born, moved to Adelaide in mid 2015 to train at the South Australian Institute of Sport under national coach Michel Larouche.

Nel made his Olympic debut in 2016 at Rio where he made the semi finals and finished 15th in the men's 3m springboard. Before that he won a bronze at the 2010 Commonwealth Games and bronze and silver at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. 

But Nel, with two shoulder reconstructions already behind him, isn’t giving up on the sporting world.

He loves several other sports and has his eye on playing cricket.

He has been training at the Adelaide Cricket Club, aiming to be a batsman and ''definitely not a bowler'', he says.

His shoulder rehab will take time but he hasn't ruled out having a crack at the district club and playing as high as he can.

Nel loves Aussie Rules but will be focusing on just watching and attending Adelaide Oval games where he can. He is passionate about reigning premier, Western Bulldogs, and hopes they can pull out something special in the coming weeks.

Nel's diving highlights include representing Australia at the 2016 Rio Games, winning medals at the 2010 and 2014 Commonwealth Games and spending some years in Texas (2009-2012) in college developing his diving prowess. He also competed in 5 World Championships and 5 World cup events.

''Walking out in my Australian colours at Rio was so special and seeing all of my family, Amanda, brothers, sisters, parents with all of that support is something I won't forget,'' he said.

''I am so lucky. There are other things I want to do and spending time on my family life is definitely one of those.''

The South Australian Sports Institute congratulates Grant on an outstanding career and thanks him for his contribution to the sporting world.

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Grant Nel