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Chinese athletics chief says will be satisfied if Liu Xiang wins a medal at London

11-30-2011 11:04 BJT

By sportswriter Wu Junkuan

BEIJING, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Athletics Association (CAA) president Duan Shijie said here on Tuesday that he will be satisfied if star hurdler Liu Xiang wins a medal of any color at the London Olympic Games.

Duan, who was re-elected as the CAA chief on Tuesday, said, "I think Liu is much more mature. And he has recovered well from injury and has maintained good form this season. I am convinced that he will achieve good result if he has a normal race. That will be a perfect ending for his career.

"I think everybody will be satisfied whatever medal - gold, silver or bronze - he wins because he has spared no efforts in his sport."

The 28-year-old Liu, a former world record holder in the men's 110m hurdles, became China's most famous athlete after winning gold at the 2004 Olympic Games and 2007 Osaka world championships.

But he winced in pain and limped off the track during the men's 110m hurdles first heat at the Beijing Games, leaving the 60,000-plus spectators at the Bird's Nest stadium and millions of home audience watching in front of television in shock.

Three years after his sudden withdrawal with the Achilles injury, Liu regained honor after dramatically taking silver at the IAAF World Championships in Daegu this August. Disrupted by Dayron Robles of Cuba running next lane at the last hurdles, Liu only claimed a silver in 13.27, but he had already proved his competitiveness for London.

Although elected as commissary of CAA at the Congress, Liu did not show up in the meeting room. According to Feng Shuyong, head coach of the Chinese track and field team, Liu is still enjoying his two-week long training camp in USA and will return to Shanghai on Wednesday for further specialized training.

"There are two purposes for Liu's training camp in USA," said Feng. "First, he can have a relatively 'quiet' atmosphere for physical restoring. Secondly, docs and medical expert in USA can have a comprehensive evaluation on his recovering conditions."

"We know Liu has adopted to a new technique of approaching the first hurdle with seven steps and he still need to polish his new technique. After returning to Shanghai, he will continue to work on that during the winter training session," Feng added.

Although Liu Xiang is the "flag-bearer" of China's athletics, he is not the only hope in London. China's Li Yanfeng in women's discus, hammer thrower Zhang Wenxiu and a bunch of young walk racers will share Liu's burden in charging for medals in London.

The 32-year-old Li Yanfeng claimed her first world championship title with 66.52 meters in the women's discus throw in Daegu and in Duan's mind winning a medal in London will not be a problem for the veteran.

"She is tough mentally and physically," Duan said. "She is working very hard in training with her coaches. It's not a problem for her to win a medal."

China failed to win a gold medal from track and field in the Beijing Olympics but they got one gold, two silvers and one bronze from the Daegu world championships, boosting their confidence in the buildup for the London Olympics.

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Editor:Zhang Hao |Source: Xinhua

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