Sunday, April 12, 2015
Liu Xiang, one of the greatest athletes of the 21st century, has announced that a two-year attempt to rehabilitate his Achilles tendon has failed and that he will permanently retire from sports.
In 2004, Liu became the first Chinese male to win an Olympic gold medal in track. He tied the world record in the 110-meter hurdles in 2004, and broke the world record in 2006 -- becoming the first man to run the race in under 12.9 seconds. In 2007, he won the world championships in the event.
He suffered a severe Achilles tendon inflammation in late 2007, however. At the London Olympics in 2012, he crashed during a preliminary heat and tore his right Achilles’ tendon as he tried to clear the first hurdle.