China's diving queen to retire

Updated: 2011-01-24 08:05

(China Daily)

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China's diving queen to retire

BEIJING - China's most successful diver, Guo Jingjing, has called an end to her 22-year career. National team leader Zhou Jihong confirmed on Saturday that Guo has officially retired.

"She made it clear that she would not train and compete, so she will not appear in the London Olympic Games," Zhou said.

"She is out of the national team. We respect her decision."

This is the first time that the national team has confirmed Guo's retirement, ending speculation over the past two and a half years about her future on the team.

According to Zhou, the 29-year-old Guo, who won 31 world championship titles and four Olympic gold medals, had submitted a letter announcing her retirement.

She is now studying English and preparing for a new life after competitive diving.

After the Beijing Olympic Games, Guo became the center of speculation about what she would do next. Her last major event was the 2009 National Games where she cruised to her fifth title. She then disappeared from competition venues but has often been seen in public in advertisements or as a Youth Olympic model.

"I think I have fulfilled my task, so the London Games is not what I have in mind now. The opportunities should be given to other members of the team," Guo told The Bund, a Shanghai-based magazine, a couple of days ago.

Guo's retirement marks the end of an era during which she set an almost unbeatable record of four Olympic gold medals, five consecutive victories in both the individual and synchronized 3m springboard at the world championships and 17 World Cup titles.

She is not only a phenomenon on the springboard, but also an eye-catching figure away from diving venues with her good looks and seven-year romance with Kenneth Fok, son of Hong Kong Olympic Committee president and tycoon Timothy Tsun-Ting Fok.

Reports have said that Guo will get married this year but she has never confirmed that herself.

China Daily - Xinhua

(China Daily 01/24/2011 page24)


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