Wu Minxia

Wu Minxia
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Chinese diving legend emotionally retires

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Wu Minxia, one of two divers to win five Olympic gold medals, announced her retirement Thursday, reportedly saying her physical condition would not allow her to compete.

Wu, 31, made the emotional announcement on Chinese TV (video here).

“I am really sorry, but my physical condition does not allow me to continue training,” Wu said on TV, according to Agence France-Presse and Reuters. “I really feared the coming of today.”

Wu hinted at retirement in a Weibo post Wednesday.

“Now, though reluctantly, it’s time to leave,” was posted, according to Reuters. “The story of Chinese diving didn’t start with me, and it won’t end with me.”

Wu contemplated retirement after the 2012 London Olympics and has had many injuries during her decorated career, most recently a reported leg injury in May. So many that she was nicknamed “The Fragile Girl.”

Wu is the only diver to win gold medals at four Olympics and, with countrywoman Chen Ruolin, one of the only two with five gold medals total.

Chen announced her retirement at age 23 in October due to injuries.

Wu made her Olympic debut at Athens 2004 at age 18, winning the first of her four straight Olympic synchronized springboard titles. The first two were with Guo Jingjing. The last two were with He Zi and Shi Tingmao.

Wu also owns a full set of individual springboard medals (silver in 2004, bronze in 2008 and gold in 2012).

Only one diver owns more Olympic medals — Russian Dmitry Sautin — who won eight from 1992 through 2008.

MORE: Barrier-breaking U.S. diver dies at age 96

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China’s Minxia wins record fifth straight Olympic diving gold medal

Adam Pretty/Getty Images
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China’s Wu Minxia and Shi Tingmao were expected to win gold in the women’s synchronized 3m springboard diving competition, with the tandem being the dominant force in that discipline. Minxia and Shi made good on that expectation Sunday afternoon, winning gold in Rio de Janeiro with the victory representing a historic achievement for Minxia.

WATCH: China’s fifth dive clinches gold in synchronized springboard

Minxia has now won five consecutive Olympic gold medals in this event, which is a record. And with six total medals in Olympic diving competitions, Minxia now has more than any other woman in the history of the Olympics. Those were just two of the accomplishments for Minxia, with she and Tingmao winning the competition by nearly 32 points with Italy’s Tania Cagnotto and Francesca Dellape’ finishing second.

Winning the bronze were Australia’s Maddison Keeney and Anabelle Smith, who were last in the field after two rotations.

WATCH LIVE: Wu Minxia looks to make history in 3m synchronized springboard

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China’s Wu Minxia could become the first diver to win five Olympic gold medals when she competes in Rio in synchronized 3m springboard.

WATCH LIVE: Women’s 3m Synchronized Springboard Final

Minxia’s partnering with Tingmao Shi as she looks to accomplish the aforementioned feat, with seven other tandems look to make sure she doesn’t make history. Among the other competitors are Canada’s Pamela Ware and Jennifer Abel, who finished a distant second to Minzia and Shi at the FINA Diving World Cup in February, and Italy’s Tania Cagnotto and Francesca Dallape.

Minxia and Shi were dominant in February, winning the title by more than 27 points, and they’re expected to put forth a similar performance in Rio Sunday afternoon.