BUDAPEST, March 11 (Xinhua) -- Three-time Olympic champion kayaker Natasa Douchev-Janics has announced that she will continue her sports career in Hungary after all, rescinding her decision to compete for her native Serbia.
Douchev-Janics, who had been living in and competing for Hungary since 1999 and is a dual Hungarian-Serbian citizen, moved to Serbia last autumn with her husband, Bulgarian kayaker Andrian Douchev, who contracted to coach a Serbian team.
Douchev-Janics's announcement followed a lengthy dispute with the Hungarian Kayak-Canoe Federation, which refused to release her to Serbia unless the latter paid 150,000 euros to the Hungarian one. The Serbians declined to pay, and Douchev-Janics would have had to wait two years before being allowed to compete for her home country.
In her announcement she said that she realized she could not separate the two aspects of her life, sports and family.
"I have to acknowledge that Hungarian kayak-canoe and particularly women's kayak is the strongest in the world," she said. Currently training in Portugal, she said that in order to properly prepare for competition she needed the Hungarian competition system to spur her on, and therefore had decided to continue competing for Hungary. She would withdraw her application to the International Canoe Federation to be allowed to compete for Serbia, the 30-year-old said.
Douchev-Janics won gold in the 2004 Olympics in Athens in K-1 and K-2 on 500 meters, and in K-2 on 500 meters in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. In London, competing shortly after returning to the sport following the birth of her daughter, she won silver in K-2 on 500 meters and bronze in K-1 at 200 meters.