SOUTH Shields judo gold medallist Sarah Clark has announced her retirement from the sport.
The 36-year-old brought her career to an end in style by winning gold at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow last month.
She is originally from South Shields, but moved to Edinburgh aged 18, and went on to compete for Scotland.
Sarah started her judo journey at South Shields-based Kodokwai Judo Club, aged nine, and she could have “only dreamed of” having the career that followed.
She said: “From the very first session, I was hooked.
“I became part of a fantastic club and a wonderful group of people. Little did I know that over the next 27 years, judo would dominate my life and take me on a journey that I could’ve only dreamed of.
“A journey that would take me all around the world, where I would meet new people, make friends, have fun, laugh, cry and form fantastic memories.”
After moving to Scotland, Sarah became part of The Edinburgh Club, and went on to win Commonwealth silver in 2002, compete in three Olympic Games and be crowned European champion.
Although she missed out on the Olympic medals she craved, Sarah is still happy with her career.
She added: “I am not Olympic champion. I have not won the medals I set out to, but I worked hard and prepared diligently to be the best I could be.
“I only ever gave 100 per cent. As I look back over my career, I couldn’t have given any more.
“However, as I got older, I realised that the medal does not make a person.”