China Olympic winner Liu Xiang retires

The 31-year-old has been affected by an Achilles problem since 2008


Afp April 07, 2015
The 31-year-old's retirement is likely to spark an outpouring of emotion from Chinese sports fans, despite the news being widely expected, particularly since reports last week that an announcement was imminent. PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING: China's greatest track and field athlete Liu Xiang announced his retirement on Tuesday, with the injury-plagued Athens 2004 gold medal winner saying he had "no choice" but to bring down the curtain on his trail-blazing career.

"From today, I will end my life as a professional athlete and retire formally," said the 110m hurdles star in an online post.

"This is a decision made after long deliberation. I am deeply reluctant and feel pained, but I have no choice," he added, on his verified account on Sina Weibo, China's version of Twitter.

The 31-year-old's retirement is likely to spark an outpouring of emotion from Chinese sports fans, despite the news being widely expected, particularly since reports last week that an announcement was imminent.

In his retirement statement, Liu looked back with "reluctance" to the pivotal Beijing Olympics in 2008, when his career began to be severely affected by a right achilles tendon injury. "I dreamt about raising the [Chinese] flag," he said, "But the injuries started to torture me just before the race."

"Why did I let the Chinese people down?" he added.

 

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