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China's athletics chief "sorry" and "proud" after Liu's exit

08-08-2012 02:26 BJT Special Report:2012 London Olympic Games |

LONDON, Aug. 7 (Xinhua) -- A top Chinese athletics official said on Tuesday that he was "very proud" of Liu Xiang, who crashed out of the Olympic 110m hurdles heats with a suspected ruptured Achilles tendon.

"I feel really sorry about this, but I also feel very proud of him," said Feng Shuyong, the Chinese athletics team leader who is also a deputy head of the Chinese Athletics Administrative Center.

"At the time I was sure there would not be any big problem for him to go through the first round. What I saw, especially in the slow motion on the big screen, was that he couldn't take off. I think the problem happened in the taking off," Feng said.

"We all know that at the moment of taking off the tendon will sustain a lot of pressure. I think that's because in that moment it happened, so he couldn't make the movement (to jump over the hurdle)."

When asked about Liu's training and preparations, Feng said: "Since last time (Beijing 2008), he had been working really, really hard in practice to maintain the same level, and he did it. We are really proud of him.

"I really appreciate what he has done. When he tried to improve his ability every day, I know how tough that could be. It's not like everyone can bear such pressure, but he did it. So we think he is the best."

Feng also talked about Liu's life during the past several years.

"He needs to train every day. He needs to face the problems caused by injury, and over several years it's not as easy as some people think," said Feng.

"We think that it is truly the Olympic spirit, although winning is important. He was determined to get to the finish line and to show the true spirit."

On the treatment which Liu received before the race, Feng said: "I want to clarify that he didn't have any injections before this (race). The treatment never stopped, all year, but we didn't do anything special for the Games.

Editor:Wang Chuhan |Source: Xinhua

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