(Update) Japanese Olympic Swimmer Irie Retires

(Update) Japanese Olympic Swimmer Irie Retires

   Tokyo, April 3 (Jiji Press)--Japanese swimmer Ryosuke Irie, who won three medals at the 2012 London Olympics, announced his retirement Wednesday at a press conference in Tokyo.
   The 34-year-old, who appeared in four consecutive Olympic Games in the men's backstroke category, had been active on the international stage since 2006.
   "I'm truly happy to have been able to enjoy a long career as a competitive swimmer," a tearful Irie said.
   The native of Osaka Prefecture in western Japan was known for his amazing balance and flexible shoulders, which allowed him to swim backstroke without dropping a plastic bottle placed on his forehead.
   At the London Games, Irie won silver in the 200-meter backstroke and in the 400-meter medley relay, and clinched the bronze medal in the 100-meter backstroke.

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