Home » Judo news
The latest Judo News offered by JudoInside.com
2012 Olympic judo hero Kaori Matsumoto retires
4 Nov 2018 14:50
Japan's London Olympic judo champion Kaori Matsumoto said Sunday she will retire from the front line of the sport following her first-round loss at the Kodokan Cup, one of the qualifying events for next year's world championships.
"I'm not that disappointed in the loss. Perhaps I've now reached the stage where I'm distancing myself from going all out and taking risks," the 31-year-old said after losing the women's 57kg division at Chiba Port Arena outside Tokyo.
"I have been thinking I need to start considering about what to do with the rest of my life if I didn't advance to the finals."
Matsumoto, dubbed the "beast," gave birth to a girl in June 2017, after finishing with a bronze at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics the previous year. She had returned to competition this year.
Since the world championships are considered an important meet ahead of the 2020 Summer Games, Matsumoto said "the possibility of competing at the Tokyo Olympics is zero percent."
She said she will talk with her family and her company whether she should retire or continue her career, but not as a member of the national team.
Matsumoto won the world championships in 2010 and 2015.
"My child became my main priority, not judo. I couldn't achieve the results I wanted and I felt qualifying for (the 2020 Tokyo) Olympics was difficult. I started thinking my adventurous days were over," she said. Despite her desire to become a "gold medalist mama," Matsumoto's Olympic hopes took a hit when she was eliminated in the first round of last November's Kodokan Cup, one of the qualifying events for this year's world championships.
But Matsumoto, also a two-time world champion, remained upbeat about the future, saying she has accomplished all her dreams and goals on the judo mat, and will move on to the ice cream counter with no regrets. "I was able to put smiles on people's faces through judo, and now I'm going to try something completely different. I'm going to try to spread smiles through ice cream."
At 2 February 2019 Matsumoto announced to retire completely.
Related judoka and events
Related Judo Photos
Related Judo Videos
Related Judo News
After having a baby, Japan's Kaori Matsumoto declared that she was ready to make a comeback for Tokyo 2020. Getting back as a mother isn't that easy. Just a hand full of strong judo women had a successful comeback, but most struggle or their mind has changed. It let's admit, there's more important than judo, but there's nothing more important for our lifestyle. Read more
It’s mothers and babies time in the category U57kg, Olympic judo medalist Kaori Matsumoto has given birth to her first child on 13 July. Soon another Olympic and world medallist Automne Pavia is to give birth to a baby as well. Read more
Kaori Matsumoto, the current World Champion and bronze medallist at the Olympic Games is going to marry. Breaking many men’s hearts, she found her expected husband in her own country and he is a cook! The Japanese judo star introduced her future husband to her father who was also a cook. Her father, 63 year old Kenji Matsumoto, who was a boxer and cook in a Chinese restaurant. Read more
At 26 August it’s usually time for the World Championships and we can remember some of the best athletes on this day with a world title. Mongolia doesn’t count too many world titles, but at 26 August both Tsagaanbaatar Khashbaatar and Urantsetseg Munkhbat won the world title. Tsagaanbaatar Khashbaatar in Rotterdam in 2009 and Urantsetseg Munkhbat in 2013 in Rio. Read more
Simone Pensa (ITA)