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Home >> Sports
UPDATED: 11:17, November 26, 2006
Asian Games-bound diver Guo Jingjing to retire after 2008 Olympics
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China's Doha-bound Olympic champion Guo Jingjing has said that she will retire from diving after the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Guo, 25, who won two gold medals in the Athens Olympic Games, told Chinese media on Thursday after losing a warmup competition in east China's Nanjing city that she is sure to call it quits after the Beijing Games even though she still feels the passion for the sport.

She said: "I will retire after the Beijing Olympics. That's for sure. After 20 years in this sport, it's very difficult. It's time to leave no matter how much you love it.

"I am diving just for fun. I enjoy it. Diving is part of my life. It's impossible to hold on till 2008 just for a gold medal."

Love for diving is only one of the reason for the diving beauty to stay in the national team. The other is that she wants to retire in front of the home fans.

"To finish my career at home in 2008 is something very, very significant and emotional," she said.

Guo, who won two gold medals in the Busan Asian Games four years ago, will take part in the synchronized springboard event and will not defend her 3m springboard title.

"I will try my best in Doha," she said.

Guo, who started training in competitive diving at the age of seven, was selected to the national team when she was 11. She has competed in three Olympic Games and finally tasted the gold medal in Athens, where she took the gold medals in the individual 3m springboard and the synchronized springboard along with Wu Minxia.

She is the leading member of China's diving dream team after triple Olympic gold medals winner Fu Mingxia.

Guo's off-the-board affairs after the Athens Olympics have been the subject of scrutiny in mainland China and Hong Kong media outlets.

She is reputed to be the girlfriend of national teammate Tian Liang. She then made entertainment headlines with a paparazzi shot of her dining with Kenneth Fok Kai-kong, grandson of the late businessman Henry Fok.

Guo didn't deny the relationship, and has been photographed many times with Kenneth Fok in public. Most recent rumors mentioned that Fok has bought an apartment in Beijing in October 2006 and given it to Guo as a gift.

Asked to choose a place to live in after her retirement from three cities of Beijing, Hong Kong and her hometown Hebei Province, Guo said: "I feel it should be Beijing."

Her former teammate Fu Mingxia married former Hong Kong financial secretary Antony Leung in 2002, two years after beating Guo to win the 3m springboard event and her fourth Olympic gold medal in the Sydney Olympic Games.

Fu was 25 years old at that time and Leung was almost 50. She has been living in Hong Kong since then and is a housewife and a mother of two.

Guo said she has not decided what to do after the retirement. " I have not thought about this question. It's still too early. What I should do now is to work hard and just wait for the 2008 Olympic Games."

Source: Xinhua

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