December 9 - Paralympic bronze medallist Ben Quilter has announced his retirement from competitive judo with immediate effect.
Quilter, 32, took the bronze medal at London 2012 despite snapping the cruciate ligament and rupturing the medial ligaments in his knee just seven weeks before the Games.
After undergoing a successful surgery in November 2012, Quilter saw the birth of his first child in June this year and believes that it is the right time for him to retire from the sport.
"My circumstances have changed a lot since the Games," he said.
"To get myself back to my best and compete at the top level for Rio 2016 would need total commitment in time and effort.
"I now have a family and with the opportunity with GLL (Greenwich Leisure Limited), combined with the relocation of the Visually Impaired judo programme to the Centre of Excellence in Walsall, I felt the time was right for me to retire."
Born in Brighton, Quilter only has peripheral vision after developing Stargardt's disease in 1992.
He finished fifth at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics before claiming World Championship and European Championship titles in 2010 and 2011 respectively.
He also won gold at the 2011 World Games in Turkey.
Last week saw Quilter mentoring British Judo's athletes at the VI European Championships, where fellow Briton Sam Ingram won gold.
"I hope to continue to pass on any knowledge and experience that I have obtained throughout my career, by mentoring, public speaking and coaching," said Quilter.
"This is something I am passionate about and I see it as a wonderful opportunity to give back and have a positive impact upon others through my own life experiences"
Following his announcement, Quilter was keen to recognise everyone that helped him develop in the sport he started at the age of seven.
"I would like to thank everyone who has played a part in making my judo journey such a memorable and enjoyable experience," he said.
"It would not have been possible to achieve the things that I have without a huge network of support.
"Everyone from the coaches who played an instrumental role in capturing my imagination and interest in the sport as a boy, through to those who have helped me over the years at all levels."
Commenting on the retirement, Paralympic coach Jean-Paul Bell said: "It has been an honour and a privilege to work with and share in Ben Quilter's Judo journey.
"He is one of the most professional and inspirational athletes I know and a real credit to our sport.
"I still get emotional watching the final contest in London, as it was the culmination of four years of hard work and the monumental refusal to give up on a dream when the odds are stack against you.
"I'm sure he will continue to achieve in anything he does and I wish him all the success in the world.
"Thanks little fella!"
British Judo chairman Kerrith Brown also paid tribute to Quilter saying: "Ben has been a fantastic ambassador for the sport of judo in Great Britain and the whole of British Judo are extremely proud about what he achieved as an athlete.
"His record speaks for itself with eight world and European medals to his name and winning bronze at the Paralympics in the manner that he did shows he's a true competitor.
"On behalf of the whole association I would like to thank Ben for his contribution to the sport and wish him all the best for the future."
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