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Former world champion Liu Xiang set to retire: report

( Updated: 2015-04-03 15:34

Former world champion Liu Xiang set to retire: report

Liu Xiang celebrates as he crosses the finish line to win the men's 110 hurdles final at the 2004 Olympic Games in this Aug 27, 2004 file photo. [Photo/IC]

Liu Xiang, China's most decorated track and field athlete, may officially announce his retirement through social media next week, reported Friday's Titan sports, China's highest-circulation sports newspaper.

Instead of having a press conference, the 31-year-old hurdling star will supposedly make his decision known in a low-key way by making an announcement on his Twitter-like Weibo account on April 7 or April 9. His retirement is inevitable while the exact date remains in final negotiation, the Changsha-based sports weekly wrote.

Rumors of Liu's retirement have been reported periodically since he fell down at 2012 London Olympic Games 110-meter hurdles' preliminary contest, which was the last match he ever attended.

The 2004 Athens Games 110-meter hurdles gold medalist has endured a long recovery from a right Achilles tendon injury that sidelined him from racing in London and made him withdraw from the 2008 Beijing Games. He hasn't returned to the track for two-and-a-half years.

Liu made his latest public appearance when he attended a promotion event for 2015 World Championships to be held in August at the Beijing National Stadium in the capital.

Asked whether he could race at the world championships 200-day countdown ceremony for the Beijing tournament, Liu responded that the chances are slim.

"I think the possibility is pretty slim. I might be able to take part in the event in another role (not as an athlete)," he said.

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