• Kyodo News

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Ryoko Tani, who was scheduled to compete for the first time since winning bronze in the women’s 48-kg class at the Beijing Olympics, will sit out next month’s Grand Slam Paris meet after injuring ligaments in her right knee, the All Japan Judo Federation said Tuesday.

Tani will be replaced by Tomoko Fukumi at the Feb. 7-8 tournament after she hurt her knee when an opponent mounted her during a practice last Monday.

The 33-year-old Tani, who failed in her bid for her third consecutive gold in Beijing last summer, has decided to continue her career with an eye on competing at the 2012 London Games.

The Grand Slam Paris meet is one of several European tournaments being held this winter that will act as a qualifier for the world championships in Rotterdam, Netherlands, in August.

“She had trained to compete but we don’t know how much it will heal in time,” said Kazuo Yoshimura, the head of federation training committee.

“In terms of her age, it is also probably better that she take some rest and refresh.”

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