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Swimmer Terakawa confirms retirement is official

Kyodo

London Olympic double bronze medalist Aya Terakawa on Wednesday announced she has decided to call time on her career.

“I have been able to continue competing on the front line longer than I thought I would,” the 29-year-old Terakawa told a news conference. “I would like to be allowed to graduate when this season is up.”

Terakawa won bronze last summer in London in the 100-meter backstroke and 400 medley relay. She 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 FINA World Swimming Championships, becoming the oldest Japanese woman to medal at the competition.