TOKYO (Reuters) - Olympic hammer throw gold medalist Koji Murofushi will return after a two-year absence from competition to bid for a place at the Rio de Janeiro Games at the age of 41.
Murofushi, who won gold at the 2004 Athens Games and bronze at London four years ago, will compete at Japan’s national athletics trials in Nagoya next month, Kyodo news reported.
“As an athlete, I want to keep competing until I no longer can,” the news agency quoted Murofushi as saying.
”I have to find a way to make the time to work. It won’t be like when I was younger. I have to give it all I’ve got on the day of the meet.
“It’s still there. I just have to find a way to bring it to the fore.”
Murofushi became the field event’s oldest world champion when he won at Daegu in 2011 at the age of 36.
After winning his 20th national title in 2014, he declined to compete last year, citing his hope for a new generation of Japanese throwers to emerge.
He is following in the footsteps of his hammer throwing father Shigenobu Murofushi, a triple Olympian who was flag bearer for Japan at the 1984 Los Angeles Games and competed well into his 40‘s.
Shigenobu long held the national record until his son broke it in 1998.
Writing by Ian Ransom in Melbourne; Editing by Peter Rutherford