Kiwi rowing gold medallist Grace Prendergast has called time on her career.
Prendergast won gold in the coxless pair alongside Kerri Gowler at last year’s Olympics, before backing up to claim silver in the eights.
The duo won gold at the World Championships in the Czech Republic last month.
“Rowing has shaped me into the person I am today and I never could have imagined the impact that it would have on my life,” Prendergast said.
“I achieved more than I ever thought I was capable of and although I’ll miss everything that rowing has given me, I feel l have fulfilled my dreams and am proud of the career I have had. I’m fortunate to have so many amazing memories to look back on and celebrate, but it is the people who will stand out the most. I owe so much to so many people and leave still loving the sport, the team, and everything that it has taught me”.
Prendergast won her first of 15 national titles in 2011 and has been to two Olympics.
She also spent time this season rowing in the Cambridge University women’s eight in England. She recently completed a Master of Philosophy in planning, growth and regeneration.
Prendergast and Gowler claimed New Zealand’s first gold at Toyko last year after blitzing the field.
The Kiwis, who set a world-best time in their semifinal, were trailing Canada and the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) early but gradually and calmly worked their way up the field.
They managed to chase down the Canadians in the third quarter of the race and held off a late charge from the Russians, to win in a time of 6:50.19.
The world champion pair, who have been racing together since 2014, were followed over the line by Vasilisa Stepanova and Elena Oriabinskaia (ROC) and Canada’s Caileigh Filmer and Hillary Janssens.
Gowler and Prendergast are just the third female Kiwi crew to win an Olympic gold. They then both won silver with the women’s eight.