• Kyodo News

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Maki Tsukada, the 2004 Athens Olympic over-78 kg champion, said Friday she is happy in the end after giving her all to her illustrious judo career.

“I feel like I’ve done everything I can,” Tsukada, also the 2008 Beijing Olympic silver medalist, told a news conference to announce her retirement. “I greeted this day with a fresh mind.”

Tsukada decided to put an end to her career after the world championships in Tokyo this past September.

At the Tokyo meet, Tsukada suddenly decided not to take part in the open weight category, causing an uproar among officials of the All Japan Judo Federation after settling for bronze at over-78 kg.

“I made this decision because of my poor performance at the world championships in September,” she said.

Asked what she wants to do in the near future, the 28-year-old Tsukada said, “This isn’t a definite plan or anything, but I’d like to study in an English-speaking country. Hopefully in the future I can give something back to the judo world.”

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