(Reuters) – Cuban wrestler Mijain Lopez will retire later this year after attempting to secure a record-breaking fourth Olympic gold medal at the Tokyo Games.
“After Tokyo I am retiring. It’s already decided,” Lopez told the Pan American Sports organization.
“Why? Well, because of my age, I want to rest and it’s time to give the opportunity to new generations. I want to say goodbye of course by winning my fourth Olympic gold medal. I am preparing myself for this and I am sure that I will achieve it.”
If the 37-year old wins gold he would become the most decorated wrestler in the sport’s Olympic history, surpassing Russian Aleksandr Karelin’s three titles.
In addition to the Olympic gold medals Lopez won in 2008, 2012 and 2016, he has won five world championship and five Pan American titles.
A fourth gold would also make Lopez the most successful Cuban Olympian of all time, surpassing boxers Teofilo Stevenson and Felix Savon, and fencer Ramon Fonst, all of whom won three gold medals.
(Reporting by Andrew Downie; Editing by Toby Davis)