Athens Olympics women’s 78-kg gold-medalist Noriko Anno said Saturday she has asked the All-Japan Judo Federation to withdraw her from top-level and international competitions.

“My long-term goal was to win the gold medal at the Athens Olympics. I have achieved that goal and made the step up,” Anno told a press conference at the Kodokan Cup tournament in Chiba Prefecture.

“It was a bigger step than I imagined it would be and now I want to look at judo from a different angle,” added the 28-year-old, who did not rule out a return to top-tier events in the future.

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