AMAGASAKI, HYOGO PREF. – Retiring three-time Olympic men’s 60-kg champion Tadahiro Nomura bowed out of his final tournament on Saturday, losing in the third round of the All-Japan Corporate Individual Championship.
The 40-year-old, who on Monday announced he is retiring afterward, was knocked out after winning his first two rounds by ippon. It was his first competition in two years.
Cheered on by his family as well as four-time breaststroke Olympic champion Kosuke Kitajima and fencing world champion Yuki Ota, Nomura received rapturous applause from the packed house as he made his final career appearance.
Renowned for his seoinage shoulder throw, Nomura won three consecutive Olympic gold medals starting with the 1996 Atlanta Games. He is the only Japanese Olympian to have won three straight golds in an individual event.
Nomura was not selected for the last two Olympics in Beijing and London after being hampered by right knee injuries.
He is scheduled hold a news conference next Monday.
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