/

Gymnast Tomita plans to retire

Kyodo News

Gymnast Hiroyuki Tomita, a former all-around world champion who helped Japan to the team gold at the 2004 Athens Olympics, has decided to retire, gymnastics sources said Saturday.

Tomita, 27, is expected to begin a coaching career after making his final appearance as a competitive gymnast at the Toyota international meet on Nov. 15-16 in Aichi Prefecture. He also plans to perform at the World Cup Final to be held in Madrid in December if he qualifies based on his world ranking.

A native of Osaka Prefecture who is known for his elegant performances and all-around prowess, Tomita first made the medals podium in major international meets with a third-place finish in the all-around event at the 2003 world championships.

Tomita played a leading role the following year in Japan’s gold medal-winning performance in the men’s team event in Athens, where he also took an individual silver medal in the parallel bar.

In this year’s Beijing Olympics, he earned a silver in the team event and placed fourth in the all-around competition.