Sports / Stars

No heir in sight as Olympic legend Liu retires

By Sun Xiaochen (China Daily) Updated: 2015-04-07 20:36

No heir in sight as Olympic legend Liu retires

Liu Xiang leaves the track a few minutes' before the first round of the men's 110 m hurdles on Aug 18, 2008. [Photo/CFP]

Opinion:Lessons must be learned from Liu's retirement

From Liu's rise to prominence at the 2004 Athens Games, to setting a 110 meters hurdles world record, his shock retirement from his home track in 2008 and leaving early from another Olympics four years later, to today's decision to say good-bye, Liu's ups and downs mark each milestone of his hurdling career. I hope China learns from its handling of a favorite athlete and sports at large – showing tolerance of failure and paying attention to other athletes. Today's lesson, I hope, should be the end of the puberty of China's sports.

For Liu, some believe the 2008 turning point was the right time to quit so the added disappointment of 2012 should not have repeated. I can't agree more. Speculation of either marketing considerations or to save face for the "national system" should not be reason enough to override the athlete’s health. I am no expert on kinetics and not sure whether there have been problems with his training or the treatment of his injured Achilles' tendon. But to push him to the start line of the most anticipated Olympics while knowing full well that he couldn't make it is cheating. More

Backgrounder: Why Liu Xiang choose to retire now?

It's already over 900 days since Liu Xiang pulled out of the London Games 110m hurdles. No fans believe he will return to action again as he is 32 years old and is away from races so long, but what makes this much anticipated retirement prolonged?

On February, his coach Sun Haiping said: "Liu Xiang has his first try on wearing track shoes (since London Olympics) on December last year, but his Archilles tendon reacted negatively and we have to give up (seeking return)."

"We will see what his physical condition will be when the climate turns warm. At that time, I think we have to make the final decision (to be back or to retire)," added Sun, implying the consideration of Liu's retirement.

According to Liu Xiang's team doctor, Liu Xiang can manage only 13.50 seconds if he returns, which can not guarantee his qualification for top races. More

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