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China’s star hurdler Liu Xiang announces retirement

Program Code: 0909346150405002 | Source: CNTV

FORMER world and Olympic champion Liu Xiang announced his retirement through his Weibo account on Tuesday evening.

“I’m going to bring my professional career to an end today. This is a decision I made by myself after solid consideration,” the 31-year-old hurdler wrote in a long letter entitled “My track, my hurdles.”

“Despite all the pain and reluctance, I have no other choice… I have kept training in the past two years, carrying the hope of starting everything again. However, despite all the passion I have, my foot has been continuously denying me as it can no longer bear the pressure.”

Liu then reviewed his successful career in the long letter. “Now when I look back, it’s not a good thing to have too smooth a life. With all the glories, I did not take my injury seriously but worked on improving speed and worsened the injury. Till the day I was forced to withdraw from the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008, that’s a moment I don’t want to think of again.”

He thanked his coaching team, friends and fans for their support over the years.

“I will go on to complete my study after the retirement, and do something good to the development of China’s youth sport, and to help enhance the impact of China’s athletics on the international stage.

“Sport is my dream. No matter how many difficulties I have encountered, I’m not able to leave it all my life.”

Liu opened the account only last month. His long-term coach Sun Haiping told a few local reporters last week that the China’s star hurdler was planning to announce the news on Tuesday.

Fans left their best wishes in the comments.

“I still remember getting up in the middle of the night to watch you running for a few seconds,” a fan identified as Li Linfeng wrote. “You gave us passion and dreams. We thank you and will continue support you.”

Another fan Yi Qingchen wrote: “Wish you will shoulder off all past burden and start a new life. There is no need to explain too much as you have already made us proud.”

Liu became China’s first male athlete to win an Olympic gold in track and field at Athens in 2004 with a world record equaling time of 12.91 seconds in 110m hurdles. Two years later, he reached his second peak of the career by setting a world record of 12.88 seconds at the Super Grand Prix in Lausanne.

The twist came in 2008 as he had to withdraw from two straight Olympic Games in 2008 and 2012 due to Achilles tendon injury.


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