Ai Fukuhara Announces International Retirement

(Photo: ITTF)

Japanese table tennis star Ai Fukuhara, 29, has announced her retirement from international competition following a two year spell away from the sport.

Winning a bronze medal in the Women’s Team event at the 2016 Olympic Games with Japan, Ai Fukuhara married Chinese Taipei table tennis pro¬†Chiang Hung-Chieh and hasn’t appeared on the international scene since becoming a mother.

Along with her bronze medal at Rio 2016, Ai Fukuhara also has an Olympic silver medal to her name which she collected at London 2012 and was the Olympic flag barer for Japan four years earlier at Beijing 2008.

Ai Fukuhara admitted that she had been pondering retirement for a while and feels as though a huge weight has been lifted from her shoulders since making the announcement.

Playing in China from a young age, Ai Fukuhara happens to be fluent in Mandarin and is hugely popular with table tennis fans across China as well as Japan.

SD Sport expresses its best wishes to Ai Fukuhara in her international retirement.

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