Former Olympic champion Li Xuerui quits international badminton


New Delhi, October 18: Former Olympic champion Li Xuerui of China has announced her retirement from international badminton, the BWF announced on Thursday (October 17).

The 28-year-old, who struck gold at the 2012 London Olympics, was in her prime before an injury at the Rio Olympics disrupted her career.

As a 19-year-old, Li got into prominence when she beat India's Saina Nehwal and compatriot Liu Xin to win her first major title at the Badminton Asia Championships in 2010.

She soon turned into one of the most difficult opponent to play as she dominated the top-tier events, winning the 2012 All England Championship before going to claim the coveted gold in London Olympics later that year.

Li, followed up her golden 2012 with silver medals at the 2013 and 2014 editions of the World Championships, where she was beaten in the finals by Thailand's Ratchanok Inthanon and Spain's Carolina Marin respectively.

In 2015, she managed to beat India's PV Sindhu to defend the Denmark Open title which she had won in 2014. The following year, however, was a year of heartbreak for Li.

In 2016, she entered the Rio Olympics as a favourite but suffered an injury at the semifinal against Marin. The injury was rather very griveous as it was later diagnosed as an Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) rupture, which is a nightmare for sportsperson. She was out of action for over a year.

On her comeback in 2018, Li won the Lingshui China Masters in April, before completing a hat-trick of titles - winning the US Open and the Canada Open.

The Chinese, however, couldn't reclaim the form at top-tier events. She last played the Korea Open last month when she retired from her first round match against Japan's Sayaka Takahashi.

In her illustrious international career, Li has won 14 Superseries titles and was named the BWF Female Player of the Year in 2013.

(With inputs from PTI)

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