Romanian swordswoman Ana Maria Popescu, under her maiden name of Ana Maria Branza, Olympic champion and runner-up, announced her retirement from performance sports on Tuesday at the age of 37.
“It seems I’ve come to an end. Over 20 years spent here in the fencing hall… It was the last competition for me. I somehow thought I was ready for this moment, because I didn’t feel like going any further. That was all and somehow I think as a child I promised myself that I would feel the moment when I have to stop and that moment has come. I have no motivation to move on, everything hurts too much, I think it’s time to start a new life or a life outside the fencing room. I love you all and thank you, especially you, who are there, on social media and you were with me when it ended with a medal, but especially when I hit the wall, from the beginning of the competition. I hope you stay with me because a chapter in my life is over, but other surprises will surely follow. I leave now finish crying,” Ana Maria Popescu said, in tears, in a video post.
The last tournament Ana Maria Popescu participated in was the World Cup in Dubai and she was awarded a silver medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games this summer.
The athlete’s record includes, among others, 3 Olympic, 6 world and 11 European medals, with 9 gold medals in total, plus the 37 World Cups won, she being the most titled fencer in Romania.
Ana Maria Popescu was named the best swordswoman in the world in the seasons 2007-2008, 2008-2009, 2012-2013, 2019-2020, 2020-2021.