3-time world figure skating champ Mao Asada is retiring

TOKYO -- Japanese figure skater Mao Asada is retiring.

The 26-year-old Asada, the three-time world champion, says she lost her motivation after underperforming last season.

She noted her best performances were in 2014, when she won her third world title and finished sixth at the Sochi Olympics.

"If I had ended my career then, I might still have had a desire to return to skating today," she wrote in her blog. "After returning to compete, however, I wasn't able to perform or achieve results the way I had hoped, and I was often distressed."

After Sochi, she took a year off and returned to competition in 2015. She finished a career-low 12th at a national championship last December.

"After that the goal that had driven me had disappeared, and I lost my motivation to continue as a skater," Asada wrote.

Asada started skating at age 5. Excelling at the triple axel, she won her first world title in 2008, and second in 2010.

She was the silver medalist at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

She says she has no regrets.

"I want to find new dreams and goals and move on, with a smile on my face," she wrote.