Everyone knew this was coming, but I have to admit it's still a bit sad to see his career come to a close. Nevertheless, I think he's ended on a spectacular note.

Elder statesman Jovtchev calls it a day

(Reuters) - Gymnastics' elder statesman Jordan Jovtchev announced his retirement on Friday three weeks after becoming the first male gymnast to compete in six Olympic Games

"I think it makes no sense to continue," Jovtchev, who will turn 40 next February, told a news conference. "I can go on, but I see no point in that."

Jovtchev, who is also the Bulgarian gymnastics federation president, had put his plan to retire on hold after squeezing into the rings final in London, saying he could continue to compete. On Friday, however, he announced a change of heart.

"It's time for me to stop," said Jovtchev, who won four Olympic medals, 13 at world championships and nine at the Europeans since stepping on the podium in a major tournament for the first time in 1995.

However, he did not win an Olympic gold with his best performance coming at the 2004 Athens Games where he took silver in a memorable rings competition won by home Greek Dimosthenis Tampakos.

"There's nothing to pursue anymore," added Jovtchev. "It would be ridiculous to compete at 50."

(Reporting by Angel Krasimirov; Editing by John Mehaffey)