Stephen Scullion has described as "rash" the decision to announce his retirement from athletics overnight.
In the early hours of Saturday morning, the Belfast man tweeted: "Today was my last race, I’ve decided to retire. For reasons I’ll talk about in future". He had won a 10k race in Down Royal on Saturday.
Had Covid-19 not put life on hold and forced the postponement of the Olympic Games, Scullion would have been running in Tokyo.
The 31-year-old qualified for Olympic marathon last year, running 2:11:52 in Houston, a time which puts him at number six on the all-time Irish list for the distance.
"I am ok, just a bit confused probably with life/sport right now," Scullion subsequently tweeted on Sunday afternoon.
"It’s hard to accept the Olympics aren’t this year and that the big marathons I love aren’t either. But it’s tough for us all.
"Anybody who listens to the podcast will know it's been an up and down experience during Covid, last night it caught up with me that I should in a training camp in Tokyo, preparing for the Games.
"Things got a little too much for me and I made a rash decision to announce some form of retirement. Retiring isn't that easy, and I didn't speak to anybody about it. I've found training solo tough and I'm used to training camps with coaches, physio, and friends around me 24/7. The answer might be that I don't retire but try my best to relocate to somewhere I can have that company/support.
"From the messages I've received it's really lovely to hear that I've inspired people and you've enjoyed following my career until now. It's never bloody straight forward with me and having read all the tweets and messages you're all so right and I couldn't retire in peace knowing how close we got to the Olympics and bigger things ahead."
Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile