Anyika Onuora with Liverpool Lord Mayor Cllr Anna Rothery

Anyika hangs up her spikes

Liverpool’s Olympic track star Anyika Onoura is under starter’s orders for a new direction in life after saying a fond farewell to the world of competitive racing.

And in announcing her retirement, the 35 year-old bronze medal winner has pledged to work with Liverpool City Council to nurture the next generation of homegrown talent.

Anyika returned to her roots at Wavertree Athletics Track where she was joined by Lord Mayor of Liverpool Cllr Ann Rothery, to make the announcement.

“It was fitting to go back to where it all started,” she said. “You wouldn’t have had the likes of myself and Katrina Johnson-Thompson come through if it wasn’t for the facilities here.”

In 2016, Anyika was left devastated when she contracted malaria at the height of her career. With steely determination, she fought back against the illness to claim bronze at Rio Olympics as part of the 4 x 400m relay team.

Now Anyika says she wants to focus this world-class strength of will into helping others.

“I will be giving back, being a mentor, working with Liverpool City Council within sport, helping schools and businesses achieve their goals,” she said. “If I am going to give back, it has to be for my city, because my city has given me so much.”

Lord Mayor Cllr Rothery, who has followed Anyika’s career from the beginning said she would be a loss to the sport but a gain to the city.

“She’s lived the experience and won the medals,” said Cllr Rothery. “She also has a way about her where she can relate to young people. I think she will have a crucial role to play in terms of sport in our city.”