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High-Jump Record-Holder Retires

March 21, 1999

STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) _ Former world high jump record-holder Patrik Sjoberg announced his retirement from competition on Sunday.

He injured his back in 1997 during a made-for-TV Superstars competition in Sweden and has competed only sparingly since.

``It (the back) hurts more if I train a lot, which I have done,″ Sjoberg told Swedish channel TV4. ``Sometimes I can’t sleep.″

Sjoberg set a world record of 7 feet, 11 1/4 inches at Stockholm’s Olympic Stadium in 1987. Only current world-record holder Javier Sotomayor of Cuba has jumped higher than Sjoberg.

Sjoberg won the gold medal at the 1987 World Championships in Rome and medaled in three straight Olympics. He won a silver in 1984, a bronze in 1988 and a silver again in 1992. He was injured shortly before the 1996 Atlanta Games and did not compete.

``Missing the gold medal is my biggest regret″, Sjoberg said. ``I’ve never been in better shape than I was before Atlanta. I felt that I finally could have won the gold there″.

After Atlanta, Sjoberg came back to win the Grand Prix finals before injuring his back.

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