• Kyodo

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Sprinter Shinji Takahira, who was part of Japan’s bronze-winning 4×100-meter men’s relay team at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, said Monday through his club’s official blog that he will bring the curtain down on his career later this year.

In his second of three Olympic appearances, Takahira, along with Naoki Tsukahara, Shingo Suetsugu and Nobuharu Asahara, earned Japan’s first medal in 80 years in a track event at the 2008 Games.

In January this year, the International Olympic Committee stripped Jamaica of its 4×100 relay gold at the Beijing Games after Nesta Carter was caught doping.

Once the appeal is concluded for Carter’s disqualification, Trinidad and Tobago is in line to get the gold medal, Japan will be upgraded to silver and Brazil to bronze.

In the blog the 32-year-old Takahira said his years as a track and field athlete were full of exciting and enriching experiences, and he is grateful to the sport for allowing him to grow as a person.

“I’ve decided to end my career as an athlete after the summer of 2017,” Takahira wrote.

“The reason I made the announcement at the beginning of the season is because I want to share my last moments with all of you, and show my appreciation by allowing you to see how I enjoy running my races. See you again at the athletics stadium,” he said.

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