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London Olympic gold medalist Kaori Matsumoto to retire

Kyodo

Kaori Matsumoto will close the curtain on her competitive career, a source close to the 31-year-old said Saturday.

A two-time world champion and 2012 London Olympic gold medalist, Matsumoto said in November she would retire from the front line of the sport following her first-round loss at the Kodokan Cup, one of the qualifying events for this year’s world championships. But she also said at the time that there was a 50-50 chance she would continue to compete at a lower level.

Matsumoto won the women’s 57-kg division at the 2012 London Games. She gave birth to a baby girl in June 2017, after finishing with a bronze at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics the previous year.

She returned to competition last year following her daughter’s birth with the goal of topping the podium at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

However, following her loss at the Kodokan Cup, she said the possibility of competing at the Tokyo Games was “zero percent.”

Matsumoto has recently been preparing for her retirement by making courtesy visits to a number of people, according to a source.