Mai Murakami, the first Japanese woman to earn an all-around silver medal at a world championships, revealed Thursday she will retire from competition after next year’s Tokyo Olympics.
“The only thing on my mind is giving it my all until Tokyo, when I will make a break,” she told a news conference the day before the Japan senior championships in Fukui Prefecture.
The 23-year-old, runner-up at last year’s worlds, was the 2017 world champion in the floor exercise. At the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, Murakami contributed to Japan’s best finish in the women’s team event in 48 years, a fourth place.
“I’m putting everything into making Tokyo my grand finale,” said Murakami, who had to withdraw from May’s NHK Cup due to lower back pain and was not selected to compete at this year’s worlds in October.