|File photo: Li Xiaoxia of China plays against Ying Han of Germany in the table tennis women's team gold medal match in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Aug 16, 2016. [Xinhua]|
China's table tennis Grand Slam champion Li Xiaoxia announced her retirement through social media in Beijing on Sunday.
"I have to say goodbye to you even though I feel it a pity to do so. Goodbye, my beloved table tennis. Goodbye, my prestigious Chinese team," Li wrote on Sina Weibo, Chinese equivalent to Twitter, adding she will continue to support the sport.
"How time flies! I started playing table tennis at 7 and it has been 22 years on the court. Table tennis means everything to me. Thanks to all of you for supporting and being with me. Hopefully you can support me as you alway have," said Li, who turns 29 on Jan. 16.
Li helped China win the team gold medal at the Rio Olympic Games in 2016 when she also finished the runner-up in the singles event.
Li is the eighth table tennis Grand Slam winner in history with singles crowns from the 2008 World Cup, 2012 London Olympics and 2013 world championships. She also has multiple doubles and teams world titles to her name.