TOKYO (Reuters) – After another failed bid to win an Olympic diving medal when he finished last in the men’s 3 metre springboard finals on Tuesday, six-times Olympian Ken Terauchi of Japan said he was considering his future in the sport.
The crowd at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre cheered and applauded when the 40-year-old Terauchi emerged from the pool after his final dive.
“The applause made me realise that the Olympics are made up by many different people, including athletes, coaches and staff,” Terauchi told reporters.
He finished last of the 12 divers, taking off from the board awkwardly and making a significant splash on his third dive to earn 29.70 points, the lowest score in the finals.
“Of course, I was frustrated that I did not win a medal, but more than that, I felt happy because of the standing ovation,” Terauchi said. “I’m just moved. I’m glad I kept challenging myself.”
Terauchi, who has been representing his country for almost 25 years, is tied with equestrian rider Taizo Sugitani for the most Games appearances by a Japanese athlete.
“We have the World Championships next year, and another competition whose results will be taken into consideration for the 2024 Paris Olympics the year after, so I feel like I am in a never-ending loop,” Terauchi said when asked if he would aim for his seventh Olympics in 2024.
“I have to think about it seriously,” Terauchi said.
For now, however, he was only thinking about getting his hands on a celebratory bowl of ramen.
(Reporting by Yuki Nitta and Richa Naidu in Tokyo; editing by Ed Osmond)