London Olympic Wrestling Champion Yonemitsu to Retire

By United World Wrestling Press

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Japan’s Tatsuhiro Yonemitsu, who won a gold medal at the London Olympics in the men’s 66-kilogram freestyle wrestling, will retire from competition, he announced Thursday.

“I live for wrestling,” Yonemitsu told a press conference. “I was nurtured in wrestling and I want to do what I can (as a coach) to repay my debt of gratitude.”

Yonemitsu had been aiming to compete at next year’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, but he has not returned to fitness after an injury. In 2012, Yonemitsu defeated Beijing Olympic champion Sushil Kumarin in the final to earn the first Olympic wrestling gold for Japan since the 1988 Seoul Games.

In June 2013, Yonemitsu suffered from dizziness and was unable to qualify for the world championships. At the end of that year, he suffered an injury to his right ankle that prevented him from competing in the national championships.