BEIJING (AP) — Former Olympic champion hurdler Liu Xiang, one of China’s best-known athletes, announced Thursday he is getting a divorce after a nine-month marriage to actress Ge Tian.
Liu, who won gold in the 110-meter hurdles at the 2004 Athens Olympics, made the announcement on his personal social media account. He cited incompatibility as the reason for the divorce.
“We are ending this marriage today,” he wrote. “We hope we can each have a better life from now on. We bless each other.”
The 31-year-old Shanghai native married Ge in September last year after a four-month courtship.
Ge was recently embroiled in a controversy after a Chinese television drama she starred in was pulled off the air following a public outcry over a scene in which a hidden grenade is pulled from her character’s crotch by her lover, a man being held captive by the Japanese during World War II.
Within two hours of his announcement, there were about 100,000 comments on his account, mostly showing support for the former athlete. Jokes about Ge’s television controversy also surged following Liu’s announcement.
Liu was one of China’s biggest hopes going into the 2008 Beijing Games but had to withdraw from the heats with a foot injury. Four years later, he was injured again in the heats at the London Olympics.
He retired from athletics in April.
This story has been corrected to show Liu retired from athletics this year, not in 2014.
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