Japan’s Olympic doubles champion Ayaka Takahashi announces retirement

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Japan’s Olympic badminton champion Ayaka Takahashi won’t shield her doubles crown with Misaki Matsutomo at subsequent 12 months’s Tokyo Games after pronouncing she’s going to retire on the finish of the month.

Takahashi and Matsutomo defeated Denmark’s Christinna Pedersen and Kamilla Rytter Juhl within the Rio Olympics in 2016 to say the ladies’s doubles gold medal and safe their country’s first ever badminton name.

Takahashi, 30, cited the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics because of the COVID-19 pandemic as one of the crucial causes for her resolution to step away, announcing her frame would possibly now not cling up for some other 12 months.

“I’ve decided to end my career on Aug. 31 as I had doubts as to whether my inner fire and body would get through another year,” she instructed a information convention on Wednesday.

“For me it has always been all or nothing. When I train I train, when I rest I rest.”

Takahashi and Matsutomo have been doubles companions for over a decade and final performed in combination on the All England Open in March, the place they defeated the top-ranked Chinese pairing of Chen Qing Chen and Jia Yi Fan en path to the semi-finals.

“I have no regrets about this decision. I thought the match at the All England could be the last for me as we were not sure at that time whether the Olympic qualifying race would continue,” Takahashi stated.

“That is why I wanted to play my very best and we managed to beat them. I am proud of my achievements.”

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