China's top athletics star Liu Xiang to retire in April
Updated: 2015-04-04 08:27
SHANGHAI - China's top track and field star Liu Xiang is going to announce his retirement this month after being sidelined for more than two years in rehabilitation of an ankle surgery.
Liu's team Friday told Xinhua the date of announcement is yet to be set but sports newspaper Titan Weekly revealed the 110m hurdler will formally hang up his boots next Tuesday.
"The date is an ordinary day as Liu Xiang chooses to go back to the life of an ordinary person and starts afresh," wrote an article in Titan.
However, Liu, China's first male Olympic champion in athletics, will be forever looked as the extraordinary for his milestone wins in the 2004 Olympics and world championships.
In Athens, Liu tied the 12.91 seconds world record to claim the gold medal before he set a new world mark of 12.88 in 2006 IAAF Grand Prix in Lausanne.
In 2007 Osaka world championships, Liu reached the second peak of his career, winning in 12.95 to wrap up the Grand Slam in this event.
While Liu was conquering the 100m hurdles across the world, the shadow of injury crawled in and cost him dearly in his home Olympic Games in 2008.
In the "Bird's Nest", Liu limped off the first round heat with an aggravated Achilles tendon injury on Aug 18, 2008.
Four months later, he underwent a foot surgery in the United States and had four calcium deposits removed from his right foot.
As another four years past, Liu once again stood at the start line in the Olympics, this time in London 2012 but only to repeat the disappointing withdrawal he suffered in Beijing.
A ruptured Achilles tendon forced him to take another surgery after the London Olympics and has been sidelined ever since.