Ben Ainslie retires from Olympic sailing

Last updated 06:57 28/11/2012
Ben Ainslie
Reuters
GOTTA BE FINN TO WIN: Former Team New Zealand crew member Ben Ainslie, competing for Great Britain, beams after winning his third straight finn class gold medal, his fourth Olympic gold overall.

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Multiple Olympic gold medallist sailor Ben Ainslie says his Games days are over.

The 35-year-old Briton - who topped the podium in Sydney, Athens, Beijing and London - announced his Olympic retirement as he shifts his focus to the America's Cup in 2013.

"My entire life since I was a boy has been focused on those five Olympic rings and when I look back at the last 20 years there are so many special memories," Ainslie wrote in a column for British newspaper The Daily Telegraph.

After winning a silver medal at the Atlanta Games and gold medal at the Sydney games in the Laser class, Ainslie switched to the heavier Finn dinghy where he also found success.

The four-time International Sailing Federation's Sailor of the Year will be found on much larger craft in the future.

"It is clear to me now that I must focus exclusively on my America's Cup campaign," he said of his hopes of Britain winning the prestigious trophy for the first time.

Ainslie has been training with defending Cup title holders Oracle Team USA and will be at the helm of one of two AC72 catamarans during events in the build-up to September's Cup.

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