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Xu Lijia: What next for China's sailing hero?

Published 2349 GMT (0749 HKT) August 4, 2015
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Xu Lijia became an overnight sensation in China after winning gold at London 2012 in the laser sailing class. Getty Images/file
Her success is all the more impressive given that she only has 50% of her hearing and can barely see out of her left eye. WILLIAM WEST/AFP/GettyImages
It is one of a number of adversities she has had to overcome en route to becoming an Olympic champion, including having a tumor removed from her knee in her teenage years. Clive Mason/Getty Images
Introduced to the sport at school in Shanghai, she had to ask, "What is sailing?" Clive Mason/Getty Images
Now studying for a management degree in the UK, Lily, as she prefers to be called, kisses her boat in celebration at London 2012. Clive Mason/Getty Images
It led to her carrying the Chinese flag at the Games' closing ceremony, but she is embarrassed that, to date, she has only really sailed dinghies. Clive Mason/Getty Images
In her previous Olympic foray in Beijing, she won a bronze medal in 2008. DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images
Xu is not seeking selection for Rio 2016, and has her sights set on other sailing ambitions when her university degree is finished. Getty Images
She recently took time out from her studies to act as an umpire at the Extreme Sailing Series round in Cardiff. Extreme Sailing
Xu also joined the all-female crew Team SCA during the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race. Rick Tomlinson/Team SCA
But her time on board was merely for a brief insight as she was forced to jump ship as SCA set sail in the race. Rick Tomlinson/Team SCA