BEIJING (CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Chinese netizens have been shocked by the sudden end to retired star hurdler Liu Xiang's 290-day marriage with the announcement of his divorce from actress Ge Tian.
The Chinese ace said on Thursday that he and Ge had divorced due to "incompatibility".
"Ge and I fell in love in May 2014 and got married in September. We decided to end the marriage today due to our incompatible personalities. We wish each other a better life from now on," Liu said in a brief statement on his Sina Weibo account.
The Internet was immediately ignited by the news.
The announcement was forwarded more than 60,000 times and more than 70,000 users left comments in the first hour.
Many people were obviously stunned.
"It feels like yesterday when you got married," wrote Weibo user @Yixinxiangfanf, calling for more prudence towards marriage.
@KFEEE lamented that divorce had become as easy and common as shopping.
However, many of Liu's supporters said they respect individual decisions and wish the separated couple better lives in future.
There are also netizens calling for respect for celebrities' privacy.
"Celebrities are also human beings, we should respect them and, of course, they should not try to draw attention with their personal stuff," posted @xiangdaozai.
Citing an insider, Entertainment Online, a program on Shanghai-based Dragon TV, reported last month that "the couple have great differences in personality and can't get along with each other".
But Liu and Ge both declined to respond to the report.
Speculation that their marriage was in trouble ran high when Liu announced his retirement on May 17 at a stadium in Shanghai without mentioning his wife in speeches.
The couple was already not following each other via Weibo at the time.
When asked about Liu's retirement, Ge then said: "I wish him well, and I am certain he will be."
Liu and Ge were married last September, and his post of the couple leaning on a hurdle with the caption "My beloveds, her and it" triggered more than 22 million responses and views on Weibo within a few hours.