The Olympic gold medalist Ayaka Takahashi is planning to retire according to reports that stated her close sources revealed this information. Takahashi is the badminton star who won the gold in Women’s Doubles during the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. Takahashi with her partner Misaki Matsutomo beat Christinna Pedersen and Kamilla Rytter with a dramatic comeback of 19-16. She is currently standing third in the Japan domestic standings and is fighting a battle to get to the Tokyo games.
The qualifying race was suspended in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic which started in April 2019. Reports state that Takahashi will be holding a conference soon to announce her retirement from the game.
Who is Ayaka Takahashi?
Ayaka Takahashi is known for her smashes. She is also a doubles specialist. Her partnership with Misaki Matsutomo is one of the best Women’s Doubles team ever. In 2016, Takahashi and Matsutomo won the gold medal in women’s double during the summer Olympics. After that, BWF awarded them the Female Player of the Year award. They have been playing together since they were schoolmates and went to play together for more than ten years. They were the first pair ever to win the gold medal outside of China since the 1996 Atlanta games. It was the second medal for Japan. During the 2012 London Olympic games, Mizuki Fujii and Reika Kakiiwa won silver for the country. She has participated in numerous World Championships, Super Series, and Olympics. She has also won numerous Asian Championships, Asia Mixed Team Championships, Uber CUP, Sudirman Cup, and the BWF World Championships.
Takahashi has an older sister Sayaka Takahashi who is also a badminton player. Sayaka is a single specialist who won bronze during the 2013 and 2014 championships. Badminton as a sport is not much popular in Japan but has shown incredible success during the International play. After this success, Japan will fight back to defend their home turf during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. For the upcoming Olympics, Japan is surely going to get their best to compete against the rest of the world.
Japan recently released an anime ‘Hane Bado!’ to get the interest of the people to this less popular sport. It was a move to get support from the people of Japan to cheer for the athletes. Japan is surely a country to watch out in the upcoming Olympics for badminton. Let us know in the comments section what decision you think Ayaka Takahashi will take.