SHANGHAI (AFP) - Chinese sprinter and medal hope Xie Zhenye said on Thursday (Aug 16) that he is not taking part in the Asian Games because of an ankle injury, just two days before they open.
The 24-year-old set a national record over 200m of 20.16 seconds in May to underline his electric form heading into the Games in Indonesia's Jakarta and Palembang.
Xie was also expected to push friend and rival Su Bingtian all the way in the 100m for Games gold and the unofficial title of China's fastest man.
But with the Games opening on Saturday, Xie wrote on Weibo, China's version of Twitter: "The path of life is always bumpy and looks like this time I'm not that lucky person.
"After long-term research and discussion, we decided I'm not going to this Asian Games out of long-term considerations."
Xie, who ran 9.97sec in the 100m in June to set a Chinese record - which was swiftly bettered by Su - added that he was "very sorry" and posted a doctor's letter confirming a right-ankle injury.
Reports in the Chinese media said that Xie suffered the problem at the London Diamond League meeting last month.
He had also been scheduled to race in the 4x100m relay in Indonesia so his absence is a blow to him personally and to China's hopes on the track.