01/10/2021   Chen Ding (CHN) also announces his retirement from competitions



Chen Ding, gold medalist at the London Olympics, also decided to retire after finishing fifth at the 14th National Games in Xi’An, China.
"After today, I'll go backstage," said the 29-year-old after the Chinese Games.
"I was not selected in the Tokyo Olympic group and I finished fifth at the National Games. I have no regrets for that. It was a difficult course for me, but it was worth it" he added.


Chen Ding won the London Olympic gold medal in the men's 20km walk on August 5, 2012, on his 20th birthday, becoming the second Chinese male athlete to win an Olympic gold medal in track and field after hurdler Liu Xiang.

A year later, he finished second at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow, before seeing his result improve to first place when Russian Aleksandr Ivanov was stripped of his gold medal to serve a doping ban.

In subsequent years, Chen experienced a low decline, plagued by injuries after the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Finishing fifth at the National Games in 2017, he made the quiet decision to retire.


Chen Ding got married in late 2017, and his career at the time changed from a walker to a race walking judge for the China Athletics Association.


Impressed by what he had experienced at the IAAF World Team Walking Championships in May 2018, seeing Japan's walkers win both individual and team titles in the 20km and 50km distance in China, Chen Ding showed a firm determination to return to competition.

Although his performance in various competitions was not ideal in 2019, Chen Ding treasured every experience of overcoming adversity.


He used to say: "Walking is a sport in which success is achieved by adversity".

Chen Ding did not shine again in the National Walking Championships and pre-Olympic trials in March this year in Huangshan.

"I haven't competed at a high level in a long time. The 1:21:00 result, which I could have easily achieved before, now becomes a barrier for me."

Like four years ago, he finished fifth in this edition of the National Games.

"I didn't feel physically well at the beginning. This was my last race and I didn't want to regret it at the end. So I insisted on working hard."


Chen Ding said he will end his athletic career, but he won't quit the sport. He hopes to continue contributing to the march in China.

"In the future, I will engage in sport with a new role and try some new things. But my future will be closely linked to walking."





His sporting history: click here