TOKYO – Japanese badminton star Ayaka Takahashi, gold medalist in the women’s doubles at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, has decided to retire, multiple sources close to her told local media on Monday.
The 30-year-old shuttler and her 28-year-old partner Misaki Matsutomo claimed Japan’s first Olympic badminton gold medals four years ago in Brazil, after enjoying a comeback win over Christinna Pedersen and Kamilla Rytter Juhl of Denmark in the final, reported Xinhua news agency.
Takahashi and Matsutomo began playing together at high school. They won five national championships and remained World No. 1 for 18 months.
However, the pair had struggled to continue to chase their Olympic dream on home soil next year, as they currently rank third in the domestic standings of women’s doubles, with only two slots given to Japan.
Takahashi is expected to hold a press conference announcing her decision in the coming days.