Rio Olympics women’s doubles champion Ayaka Takahashi has decided to retire. There will be a video press conference tomorrow with further explanation. Her partner Misaki Matsutomo will continue to play in the mixed doubles discipline with Yuki Kaneko.
Takahashi and Matsutomo are currently ranked 7th in the world and 6th in the Race To Tokyo standings. They are behind fellow compatriots Yuki Fukushima/Sayaka Hirota and Mayu Matsumoto/Wakana Nagahara.
According to Nikkan Sports, “Taka-Matsu” had intended for two consecutive Olympics gold at Tokyo. But the tight competition in Japanese women’s doubles discipline and with the suspension of tournaments, Takahashi found it difficult to stay motivated. “I can’t train and there are no matches. It’s hard to stay motivated. I think I’ll talk more about this tomorrow,” she said.
The 30-year-old had been paired with Matsutomo since middle school. They are the first Japanese women’s doubles pair to be the world No. 1s and the first from Japan to win gold at the Olympics in badminton.