TIANJIN, Sept. 7 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Olympic champion Fu Haifeng formally retired from the professional badminton here on Thursday, following his loss together with partner Zhang Nan in the men's doubles bronze medal match of the 13th Chinese National Games.
During the morning session, Fu/Zhang lost the semifinal 21-16, 21-18 to national teammates Chai Biao and Hong Wei, the bronze medalists of the World Championships. And in the evening, the Rio Olympic champions lost again the bronze medal match to Wang Sijie and Zheng Siwei 21-18, 21-17.
"I've attached great importance to the National Games as it's my last professional badminton tournament," said the 34-year-old Fu.
Fu, pairing first with Cai Yun and then with Zhang, has been one of the world's best players in the men's doubles since 2004.
Fu helped China win five consecutive Thomas Cups (Men's Team World Badminton Championships) and six straight Sudirman Cups (World Team Championships). He also featured in four Olympic Games, winning men's doubles gold twice and the silver medal once.
However Fu never won the gold medal at the National Games. "Our goal was very clear this time, fighting for the first gold of the National Games. Lots of fans have been supporting us all the time, and I don't know how to extend my thanks to them," added Fu.
Last year at the Rio Olympics, Fu/Zhang managed to play to their best, became the eventual winners and Fu also took his second Olympic gold in the men's doubles. This year at the Sudirman Cup, they won all of their matches although China lost to South Korea in the final.
"After the Rio Olympics, I've been preparing for retirement, an issue I've been thinking of for a long time. But I continued to play at the Sudirman Cup in May and the National Games, and I kept on playing all the time."
"As a shuttler, I face either win or lose every day whether in training or in competition. My daily life was all about the opposite extreme - win or lose, and I hope my future life could be a little bit relaxed," said Fu.
Fu admitted the injuries had an effect upon his recent performance. "My biggest dream now is to recover from injuries, as my whole body is feeling the pain, including shoulder, waist and ankle."