Japanese doubles player Hiroyuki Endo has chosen to retire from international badminton.
Endo, who is known for his deceptively quick movement on the court, is already 34 years old.
34 is well above the average retirement age of a badminton player. But Endo has been maintaining his fitness very well and wasn’t showing any signs of an aging player on the court.
Age, as it seems, might not have been the only reason why he chose to retire.
Indonesian doubles coach Herry IP spilled the beans regarding Endo’s retirement.
According to Herry IP, Endo wanted his partner Yuta Watanabe to fully concentrate on playing men’s doubles with him and stop playing mixed doubles for some time. When he could not come to an agreement with Watanabe, he chose to retire.
Herry IP told BolaSport, “(During Tokyo 2020), I saw Endo approach Rionny (Mainaky) and they chatted for a while. When they finished talking, I asked Rionny, ‘what’s wrong?’ Then Rionny told me that Endo wants to retire from the Japanese national team.”
Rionny Mainaky was a coach in the Nippon Badminton Association for almost a decade till 2019. Endo played under Mainaky’s wing for a long time and this was the reason why he shared the news with Mainaky.
“Endo wants Yuta to focus on men’s doubles only with him, meanwhile Yuta, because he won the mixed doubles bronze medal in Tokyo 2020 Olympics, still wants to play both disciplines,” revealed Herry IP.
This is a shocking revelation considering the fact that Endo is already in the twilight zone of his career, while Watanabe has many more years in his mixed partnership with Arisa Higashino.
Not only this, Watanabe and Higashino have been mixed doubles partners since high school, much before Watanabe started his partnership with Endo.