Hu Jia (胡佳), gold medalist in the men's 10-meter platform at the Athens 2004 Olympics, has reportedly withdrawn from competition for the 2008 games due to injuries.
"I kept hoping to the bitter end and finally had to see that it was hopeless," Hu Jia was quoted as saying by Sina.com. The 25-year-old has had more than his share of health issues—he underwent eye surgery in 2005 for detached retinas, and has suffered from leg and shoulder problems.
While Hu's absence at the Beijing games would certainly be noticed, it's just a chink in the armor of the Chinese diving machine. Team China just swept all eight gold medals at the Nanjing stop of the FINA Diving World Series. China won Hu's event, the 10-meter platform, at the last three World Series competitions. Zhou Luxin won at Nanjing and Tijuana, and Huo Liang won at Sheffield.
The withdrawal of Hu would, however, make a little more room among the top divers for Great Britain's Tom Daley, a diminutive 14-year-old who is sure to be one of the darlings of the 2008 games if he can pull off an upset in August.
Tags: diving, Hu Jia, Olympics