Japan Seven’s Speedster Kenki Fukuoka leaves squad to pursue Medical Career

Family tradition is more important to Japanese flier Kenki Fukuoka, who will reportedly miss the rugby sevens competition at next year’s Tokyo Olympics to focus on a medical career.

The 27-year-old, according to the Associated Press, has left the Japanese seven squad to follow the footsteps of his dentist father and grandfather, who was a doctor.

The Kyodo news agency reported that the 12-month delay of the Tokyo Olympics because of the coronavirus pandemic made it too difficult for Fukuoka to combine medical studies with a professional rugby career.

Fukuoka retired from international 15-a-side rugby after last year’s Rugby World Cup in Japan, finishing his career with 25 tries in 37 tests. Known as Ferrari for his blistering speed, Fukuoka had initially indicated he would retire from all forms of rugby after the Tokyo Olympics.

He was part of the Japanese team which finished fourth in the inaugural Olympics sevens tournament at Rio De Janiero in 2016.

In announcing his retirement from 15s last year Fukuoka said “my father is a dentist and my grandfather is a doctor and the biggest drive for me is that I aspired to be like my grandfather. He’s a great person and I really admire and respect him.”


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