Ai Fukuhara, a four-time Olympian in women’s table tennis for Japan announced on her blog Sunday that she is retiring from competition.
One of Japan’s most popular athletes, Fukuhara rose to fame as a child prodigy. She competed at the Olympics from 2004 to 2016, winning a team silver medal at the 2012 London Games and a bronze two years ago in Rio de Janeiro.
She married a fellow table tennis player from Taiwan after the Rio games, gave birth to their daughter a year ago and has not competed since.
«Recently, I’ve found the answers within myself that I had been searching for. From the standpoint of myself as an athlete, I’m drawing the line here,» the 29-year-old wrote.
«I first gripped a racket at the age of three years and nine months, turned pro at 10 and began playing for the national team at 11. I played in the Chinese league when I was in high school. It’s been a long road and I’ve experienced so much.»
All — Kyodo News+