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Veteran swimmer Terakawa to retire

Kyodo

Backstroke specialist and two-time Olympic bronze medalist Aya Terakawa will call it a career, sources have told Kyodo News.

The 29-year-old Terakawa, who won bronze at the 2012 London Olympics in the 100-meter backstroke and 400 medley relay, is expected to hold a news conference Wednesday to announce her decision.

Terakawa, who drew as much attention for her model-like looks as she did for her performance, debuted on the Olympic stage at the 2004 Games, finishing eighth in the 200 back.

The Osaka native failed to make the team for Beijing, but bounced back in London under the tutelage of Norimasa Hirai, who also coached former two-time double Olympic champion Kosuke Kitajima.

Terakawa placed third in the 50 and 100 at this summer’s world championships, becoming the oldest Japanese woman to medal at the competition.

She is the national record holder in both the 50 and 100.