Hurdler Liu ready to be back on world stage next month

Updated: 2011-01-13 08:10

By Lei Lei (China Daily)

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BEIJING - Although his foot has not fully recovered, China's star hurdler, Liu Xiang, is aiming to soar on the international stage this year.

"Liu should try to rediscover his groove through more competitions this year," said his coach, Sun Haiping. "Through competitions we can also discover problems that can't be found in daily training."

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After defending his Asian Games 110m hurdles title for the second time in Guangzhou last November, Liu was considered to be back on the right track after being troubled by a foot injury for more than two years.

His time of 13.09 seconds at the games put him back among the world's top hurdlers, along with world record holder Dayron Robles of Cuba and David Oliver of the United States, who recorded the year's best time of 12.89.

Liu's performance at the Asian Games and his celebrity appeal saw him and coach Sun win the Chinese Athletics Association's Special Contribution award on Tuesday.

Liu said his confidence had been boosted by the victory in Guangzhou and that this year was important in his preparations for the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Hurdler Liu ready to be back on world stage next month

"The last year could be called a year of preparation and this year should be the year for getting ready," Liu said at the ceremony.

"I hope to improve in all aspects this year and take part in more competitions. I want to get ready for the London Olympics. I enjoy the feeling of competing against myself. That sort of confidence is important to achieving success."

Liu's first challenges this year will be IAAF indoor permit meetings in Stuttgart, Germany, on Feb 5 and another in Karlsruhe, Germany, a week later.

The Diamond League in Doha in May and the World Championships in Daegu, South Korea, are also on his schedule.

To prepare for the upcoming season, Liu went to Los Angeles for a physical check and a short period of training last week. The results satisfied Liu and his coach.

"The results in the US were very good," said Sun. "Liu's recovery looks very optimistic, although we still cannot say he's fully recovered. For an athlete, the risk (of re-injury) always exists."

After the awards ceremony, Liu flew back to his hometown of Shanghai to start winter training.

"Liu is going through more training now as compared to before the Asian Games," Sun said.

"The main aim of the winter training is to further strengthen him physically. The two indoor meetings will be tests of his winter workouts. And he needs to be inspired through racing."

China Daily



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