Takehiro Kashima to retire

Takehiro Kashima announced his retirement.

Takehiro Kashima announced his retirement.

From The Daily Yomiuri:

Takehiro Kashima, who helped Japan to a gold medal in team gymnastics at the 2004 Athens Olympics and a silver at Beijing this summer, is retiring, according to The Yomiuri Shimbun.

The 28-year-old pommel horse specialist from Osaka will end his career at the Toyota International Gymnastic Competition in Aichi Prefecture on Nov. 15-16. Kashima said on Wednesday that a chronic left-elbow injury was a major reason he decided to call it a career.

“Sometimes I don’t feel like quitting, but I just can’t maintain the strength and concentration I need to practice any more,” said the 2003 double world champion in the pommel horse (with China’s Teng Haibin) and horizontal bar. “And I don’t want to keep going at half-strength.”

Kashima added that he hopes to become a coach after retiring.

Kashima was one of the stars that helped put Japanese gymnastics back on the international map during the early 00’s. His lines and form are remarkable. He also had an amazing save for Japan during the 2008 men’s team final, where he avoided sitting down his Tsuk 2.5 on sheer strength.

Takehiro Kashima, 2003 World Championships Event Finals, High Bar:

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