Olympic hero Wu leaves the mat with no regrets

China”s Wu Jingyu defends a kick from Spain’s Adriana Cerezo Iglesias in the course of…

China”s Wu Jingyu defends a kick from Spain’s Adriana Cerezo Iglesias in the course of their women’s taekwondo 49kg quarterfinal bout at the Tokyo Olympic Games on Saturday. Just after getting rid of 33-2, the 34-calendar year-old Wu announced her retirement from competitiveness. AFP

With two Olympic gold medals and various earth titles below her belt, Chinese taekwondo fantastic Wu Jingyu could simply call time on her job with an immense sense of satisfaction and pleasure-and above all, no regrets.

Now, the emphasis will be household for the 34-year-outdated mom-of-a person from Jiangxi province.

“It is really time to say goodbye. I gave all my appreciate and passion to the activity in excess of the past 22 many years. I have no regrets any more,” claimed Wu soon after being knocked out of the 49kg class at the quarterfinal phase on Saturday at the Tokyo Olympics.

“I want to thank all the folks who supported me, encouraged me and aided me. I will carry all this with me into the upcoming period of lifestyle. I will hold likely, and I nevertheless have desires in my life. See you next time, some area else.”

Wu, an Olympic winner in 2008 and 2012, was completely ready to retire right after the 2016 Rio Games. Nevertheless, after giving birth to her daughter in 2017, she manufactured a sturdy return to worldwide competitors, deciding to go for glory as soon as additional at her fourth Olympics.

“I designed that final decision not to confirm anything. I just however felt like being an athlete, purely out of like for the sport. Now, it really is at last completed. I’m emotion great. In a lot of techniques, I have been waiting around for this second. It is a experience of reduction and peace.”

Wu is renowned for her perseverance, braveness and tenacity, inspiring a new era of younger athletes to stick to in her footsteps.

As something of a trailblazer in taekwondo for China, she has elevated the nation’s global standing in the sport. Wu has accomplished a lot of milestones together the way, which include saying China’s initial Asian Games title in taekwondo in Doha in 2006, and winning China’s initial Olympic gold in her classification at the 2008 Beijing Games.

“I am not the smartest female in lifetime, but I have no regrets at all right after providing everything in my career with my persistence and perception.

“Everything is very good now. I am really very pleased of myself for what I have done more than the previous two many years.”

Wu admitted that supplying birth did have an effect on her efficiency, with tiredness usually setting in all through bouts.

“I have no precise physical concerns and I worry no 1 on the mat. Tactically speaking, I know what I require to do in the following move and can also forecast how my opponent will attack. But at times I just can’t get my overall body to reply precisely how I want it to,” she reported.

“I’m 34 and often you have to confess that age basically exhibits you no mercy.”

Wu claimed she will invest far more time with her daughter and loved ones initially prior to determining her upcoming steps in lifetime.

“I assume I will be quite, pretty content with each other with my household right after this Olympics. My temperament indicates I will hardly ever say die as prolonged as I’m an athlete. So it’s unachievable for an athlete like me to totally take pleasure in a match. Each individual time you stand on the mat, it can be like a are living-or-die combat.

“So now that it is all about, I can say I will be very pleased, and now I can chill out and enjoy myself.”

Even although her competitive vocation has concluded, it appears to be specific that Wu will proceed to engage with the activity.

She is vice-president of the Chinese Taekwondo Association (CTA), as properly as a nationwide team coach, but has still to verify what area she intends to concentrate her energies.

“I have not built up my mind on whether or not to serve in the CTA or mentor the nationwide staff,” Wu mentioned previous yr. “But I will continue to be in the activity, that is further than question. I think it is really wonderful if a particular person can do one matter for his or her whole life.”