Nov 27, 2012, 01.52 PM | Source: Reuters
OLYMPICS-SAILING-AINSLIE:Ainslie calls time on Olympic career
The 35-year-old became the first sailor to win medals at five successive Games earlier this year when he was victorious in the Finn class at the London Olympics.
It was Ainslie's third successive Olympic gold in the Finn, following silver and gold in the smaller Laser class at Atlanta in 1996 and Sydney 2000.
"It fills me with both relief and sadness to write these words but I can now officially confirm that I have donned my Team GB tracksuit for the last time," he wrote in a column published in The Daily Telegraph.
"After almost 20 years entirely dedicated to the pursuit of gold, taking in five Olympic campaigns, I have decided I will not attempt a sixth at Rio de Janeiro in 2016."
Ainslie said his body could no longer cope with the physical demands of the sport and would have only considered going to Rio had the International Sailing Federation not done away with the Star class.
"Because of the wear and tear of a lifetime spent sailing, particularly on my back, which was a real issue this summer, it was always going to be an uphill struggle to do the Finn again in Brazil," he wrote.
"However, if the Star two-handed dinghy had been reinstated I might just have considered giving that a go."
Ainslie will now focus excusively on his America's Cup World Series campaign with JP Morgan BAR.
(Writing by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; Editing by Alastair Himmer)