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Fredericks to quit after final 200

Frankie Fredericks
Fredericks won silver medals in the 100m and 200m in 1992 and 1996.
• Olympics 2004: Special report 

ATHENS, Greece -- Veteran sprinter Frankie Fredericks said he would retire from athletics after this week's Olympic 200 meters event in Athens.

The Namibian 36-year-old, who has won four Olympic silver medals in a 20-year sprinting career, was fastest in his first round heat on Tuesday in a time of 20.54 seconds.

"This is it; the end of the 200 is the end of my career," said Fredericks, who failed to qualify for Sunday's 100 meters final.

"I will go home and spend time with my family."

Fredericks, Namibia's only Olympic medallist, finished second at both 100 and 200 meters in Barcelona in 1992 and in Atlanta in 1996, where Donovan Baily and Michael Johnson both set world records in the events.

He missed the Sydney Games in 2000 due to injury.

He also finished second three times in the 200 meters at world championships, winning his only major gold in the same event at the 1993 championships.

American Shawn Crawford and Mauritius' Stephane Buckland set the fastest times of the opening heats, running 20.29 seconds.

Sunday's surprise 100 meters champion Justin Gatlin, Crawford's American training partner, also advanced to Wednesday's semifinals with a time of 20.51 and a second-place finish in his heat.

Francis Obikwelu, second to Gatlin in the 100, also qualified along with Asafa Powell of Jamaica and Britain's Darren Powell, who won silver in the 200 in Sydney in 2000.

But Jamaican teenager Usain Bolt, who had run 19.93 earlier in the season, flopped out after finishing fifth in his heat in 21.05.

The 200 is also missing defending champion Kostas Kenteris, the Greek medal hope who withdrew from the Games after missing a drugs test on the eve of the Opening Ceremony and spent the next four days in hospital following a motorcycle accident.

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