Table Tennis Star Ai Fukuhara Feels 'lighter'

Table tennis star Ai Fukuhara feels 'lighter'

Japanese table tennis star Ai Fukuhara says she feels "lighter" now that she has reached her well-thought-out decision to retire from competition.

The 29-year-old told reporters on Wednesday that she'd long mulled whether to call it quits.

She said she came up with the answer while thinking about not herself, but her role in the world of table tennis.

Fukuhara added that the answer gradually came to her around May this year, but that it took courage and time to convey her thoughts to other people.

She said smilingly that she feels a weight has been lifted off her shoulders.

After winning her second straight Olympic medal in 2016, Fukuhara got married and became a mother.

She announced her decision on her blog on Sunday.