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Krisztian Berki, Olympic pommel horse champion, retires

Krisztian Berki

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 05: Krisztian Berki of Hungary celebrates with his gold medal during the medal ceremony following the Artistic Gymnastics Men’s Pommel Horse final on Day 9 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at North Greenwich Arena on August 5, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

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Hungarian Krisztian Berki, the 2012 Olympic pommel horse champion who last competed on the top international level in 2017, announced his retirement from gymnastics on Thursday.

Berki, now 35, won the London Olympic title in a tiebreak over Louis Smith, denying Great Britain its first Olympic gymnastics title.

Berki earned his third world title on pommel horse in 2014, but failed to qualify for the Rio Games, where Max Whitlock earned gold for Britain. He also didn’t get Hungary’s lone spot in the 2008 Olympics, despite taking silver at the 2007 Worlds.

Berki’s last major competition was the 2017 European Championships, where he took pommel horse silver.

Berki, who began focusing on the pommel horse rather than the all-around in 2002 due to an ankle injury, had at least three left shoulder surgeries between 2017 and 2019, ruling him out of the most recent world championships in 2019, an Olympic qualifier.

Whitlock matched Berki with a third world title in 2019 and, in Tokyo, can become the first repeat Olympic pommel horse champion since another Hungarian, Zoltán Magyar, in 1976 and 1980.

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