Tim to go: gold medallist Baillie hangs up paddles

Donside Olympic gold medallist Tim Baillie has announced his retirement from international competition, dashing any hopes for the Rio Games.

The 34-year-old Westhill man won gold in the London 2012 games in the C2 event alongside long-term partner, Etienne Stott.

He tweeted his retirement to the world last Friday (January 24) with: “After much thought I’ve decided to hang up my paddle and retire from international competition,” attaching a picture of his canoe paddles against a wall.

Tributes flooded in on the social media page with Team GB congratulating him on a “brilliant career” and UK Sport calling him a “fantastic ambassador for the UK.”

He was awarded the MBE following the London Games and had a postbox painted gold in Westhill in his honour.

Last year he married Canadian kayak athlete Sarah Boudens.

Partner Stott, also 34, will now be looking for a new partner after almost a decade with Baillie.

The Donside athlete said that he now no longer has “the desire” for the intense training regime associated with the sport and was looking forward to spending more time with family and friends.

Speaking to the BBC last year he said: ““I’d quite like to go canoeing once a day, but I don’t want to do it enough...

“The race results aren’t important enough to justify six days a week, two sessions a day. I’ve done it for a long time, spent a long time missing family, friends and occasions.”