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Judoka Kunihara announces retirement

Kyodo

Yoriko Kunihara, a two-time world bronze medalist in the women’s 70-kg class, said Saturday she is retiring from competitive judo.

Kunihara, who won bronze medals at the worlds in Tokyo in 2010 and the following year in Paris but failed to qualify for the London Olympics, announced her decision after the All-Japan corporate team tournament.

“I had decided I could go on as long as the Olympics. I can’t give it my all anymore,” said the 26-year-old, who now hopes to train the next generation of judoka. “I want to develop combative, mentally tough athletes.”

Kunihara fell in the semifinals at May’s national invitational weight-class championships. The winner at 70 kilograms, Haruka Tachimoto, was selected to represent Japan at the London Games.