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  4. 2023.5.12

3-time Olympic table tennis medalist Ishikawa retires卓球の石川佳純選手、現役引退

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Japanese table tennis player Kasumi Ishikawa, a winner of three Olympic women’s team medals and a five-time national singles champion, announced her retirement May 1.

The 30-year-old left-hander was part of the team that won silver in London in 2012, her nation’s first Olympic table tennis medal, before claiming bronze in the same event four years later in Rio de Janeiro and silver again in Tokyo in 2021.

“I feel I’ve given everything I have and have decided to retire,” Ishikawa wrote on Instagram.

The Yamaguchi Prefecture native finished fourth in the singles event at the 2012 Olympics and won the mixed doubles title with compatriot Maharu Yoshimura at the 2017 world championships.

Ishikawa also served as the vice-captain of the Japanese delegation at the Tokyo Olympics.

“I’m happy to have fought at the world’s top level and made many dreams come true,” she said. “I want to take on many more challenges by not forgetting the spirit I learned through table tennis.”

Members of Japan’s table tennis community paid tribute to Ishikawa following her announcement.

“I learned more from her than I can put into words,” Yoshimura tweeted. “I am the person I am today because of Ishikawa-san. Becoming the best in the world together is something I will treasure for life.”

Ai Fukuhara, a member of the medal-winning 2012 and 2016 Olympic women’s teams, credited Ishikawa for helping Japanese table tennis reach new heights.

“I am proud to have fought side by side in the same era,” Fukuhara wrote on Chinese social media service Weibo. “Without Kasumi, Japan could not have achieved those results.” (Kyodo)

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