Yoshida Explains Her Decision To Retire

Yoshida explains her decision to retire

Japan's three-time Olympic wrestling champion Saori Yoshida has announced her retirement, saying she feels she has done everything she could in the sport.

Yoshida made the announcement at a news conference in Tokyo on Thursday. She won gold in three consecutive Olympics and 13 straight World Championships.

She told reporters she has decided to put an end to her 33-year wrestling career.

Yoshida said she had considered taking part in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, but after seeing young athletes perform well on the world stage, she now hopes the next generation will take the lead in female wrestling.

She said she keenly felt she had accomplished everything, and decided in December to retire. Yoshida expressed her gratitude to the sport and the people she has met, saying she owes everything to wrestling.

She said she would like to offer psychological support for athletes representing Japan and their coaches. She added that she hopes to continue coaching the national team.

Yoshida is 36 years old. She clinched gold at the Athens Olympics in 2004, Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012, but settled for silver in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

In 2012, she received one of Japan's most prestigious prizes, the People's Honor Award.