Judoka Masashi Ebinuma, a three-time world champion and two-time Olympic bronze medalist in the men’s 66-kg division, announced his retirement Thursday.
The 31-year-old, who reached the podium at the 2012 London and 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games, was not selected for this summer’s Tokyo Olympics in the 73-kg class.
He said his loss at the Kodokan Cup final last fall made him start to think about retirement, and he decided in January that the invitational weight class championships, which took place earlier this month, would be his final competition before he moves on to a coaching career.
“I’ve decided to retire. I don’t feel like I can compete on an international level anymore,” Ebinuma said at a news conference in Tokyo.
A native of Tochigi Prefecture, Ebinuma spent six years at the prestigious Kodo Gakusha judo school in Tokyo while attending junior high and high school.
Known for his precise throwing technique and an aggressive grappling style aimed at victory by ippon, he stepped up to 73-kg after the Rio Games.
He won the 73-kg title at the April 3-4 weight class championships in Fukuoka but was not named to the team for the World Judo Championships taking place in Budapest in June.
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