Sports / Stars

Johnson: hopefully Liu has thought about what's next after retirement

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-04-15 13:41

SHANGHAI - Former men's 200m sprinter world record holder Michael Johnson hoped that Liu Xiang, Chinese 110m hurdle namecard, has thought about what to do and what he is interested in after retirement.

"You can understand while you are in sport, that this is not something that you can do in the rest of your life," said the four gold medal winner, also a Laureus World Sports Academy member.

"So when you do retire and you are very young, you should think about what's next and what you are interested in," he added.

Last week, Liu waved farewell to fans on Sina Weibo, a Chinese equivalent to Twitter, ending his 19-year dramatic career.

"Hopefully he (Liu Xiang) has done that, and has a quite good time to think about retirement. Hopefully he has started to think about what he wants to do next," added Johnson.

Johnson grabbed 200m and 400m gold medals in Olympic Games in 1996, also creating the world record with 19.32s in the former event, which was broken by Jamaican superstar Usain Bolt in Beijing Olympics 12 years later.

The IAAF World Championships will take place in August in Beijing. Is Bolt still the favorite to men's sprinter titles in Chinese capital? Johnson attached the importance to health.

"Bolt has always been the favorite as long as he runs and is in a healthy condition. Health is the key. Let's see what happens," he said.

The 16th Laureus World Sports Awards ceremony will put the sport world spotlight on Shanghai on Wednesday night.

This marks the first time that this premier awards to come to China. However, in Johnson's eyes, China is no different from elsewhere in the world to feel the impact of sport.

"I don't think that it's different in China from elsewhere in the world. With young people doing sport, it has impacted many, many lives. China is no different from what we do in America, Africa, and Asia as well," he said.

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