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Former judo world champ Muneta plans to retire

Kyodo

Yasuyuki Muneta, the winner of the 2003 judo world championships in the men’s over 100-kilogram class, is set to retire and move into a coaching role, a source said Saturday.

The 35-year-old stood at just 170 cm but was a mainstay in heavyweight divisions alongside Kosei Inoue and Keiji Suzuki, winning the silver medal at the 2005 worlds in the over-100 kg before adding gold at the 2007 worlds in the open category.

But while Inoue and Suzuki won the gold medals at the 2000 and 2004 Olympics, respectively, Muneta never qualified for the Summer Games. He finished runner-up three times in his record-high 15 appearances at Japan national championships.

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