Japan's First Olympic Badminton Gold Winner Akaya Takahashi Retires

Ayaka Takahashi, who won Japan’s first ever badminton Olympic gold with her doubles partner in Rio 2016, has retired conceding she no longer has the “inner fire” to compete. “After winning the gold medal in Rio, I’d been struggling to maintain morale,” she confessed at an online press conference this week. Despite training hard with Matsutomo, she said she had struggled with “records that were not satisfying enough in 2019, the suspension of tournaments, and the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics”. “I doubt if my inner fire and body will…

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