European Champion Ariel Zeevi (35) announces retirement

Ariel Zeevi, the current European Champion U100kg from Israel and one of Europe's best-loved athletes, announced his retirement on Monday. Zeevi, aged 35, took part in four Olympics and won a bronze medal at the 2004 Athens Games. His first-round defeat in london this year to German Dimitri Peters was his last bout. Zeevi: "The last few months have not been easy, I felt things I hadn't felt previously. It started with the defeat in London... and suddenly I realised that I had no more aims, I had fought my last bout and it made recovery from the loss so much more painful," Zeevi told reporters. Zeevi won nine European championship medals including four golds, and a world championship silver in the open category in 2001. Known by his nickname Arik, he became the oldest European champion in his weight division when he won the title for the fourth time in April in Chelyabinsk. Zeevi however celebrated many successes and victories. Also he carried the Olympic flag as Israel's pride. Watch the impressive highlights of Arik's career: Date Result Judo Event 28-Apr-12 European Championships Chelyabinsk - 1st 29-May-11 IJF Grand Slam Moscow - 1st 24-Apr-10 European Championships Vienna - 3rd 01-Mar-09 World Cup Warsaw - 1st 13-Apr-08 European Championships Lisbon - 3rd 02-Mar-08 World Cup Prague - 1st 08-Apr-07 European Championships Belgrade - 3rd 25-Feb-07 Super World Cup Hamburg - 1st 22-May-05 European Championships Rotterdam - 2nd 19-Aug-04 Olympic Games Athens - 3rd 16-May-04 European Championships Bucharest - 1st 28-Mar-04 A-Tournament Minsk - 1st 08-Feb-04 Super A-Tournament Tournoi de Paris - 1st 18-May-03 European Championships Düsseldorf - 1st 02-Feb-03 A-Tournament Tbilisi - 1st 29-Jul-01 World Championships Munich - 2nd 18-May-01 European Championships Paris - 1st 24-Mar-01 Grand Prix Città di Roma - 1st 09-Mar-01 ARAL Grand Prix 2001 Prague - 1st 06-Aug-00 A-Tournament Minsk - 1st 22-May-99 European Championships Bratislava - 3rd