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Tomita acknowledges effects of age

Kyodo News

Hiroyuki Tomita said Monday he has decided to retire because his body can no longer perform the eye-catching gymnastics that made him an all-around world champion.

“Every year I feel like I am going more downhill,” said the all-around 2005 world champion, who helped Japan to the men’s team gold at the 2004 Athens Olympics and silver at the Beijing Games this past summer.

“It has become exceedingly difficult to perform the beautiful gymnastics that ideally I want to perform,” the 27-year-old told a news conference. “But I have had a very fulfilling career.”

Tomita has no concrete plans for the future but 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 on his world ranking.