CHINESE athletics icon Liu Xiang is determined to erase memories of his traumatic experience at the Beijing Games and regain his 110m hurdles Olympic title in London.
He will be looking to throw down the gauntlet to his major rivals – world record holder and defending champion Dayron Robles, and the leader in the event this season Aries Merritt when the heats get underway today.
Four years ago, the 29-year-old left Chinese fans devastated when he turned up for his heat but failed to jump a hurdle, pulling out because of an Achilles problem and has continued to be plagued by injuries ever since.
He has shown some of his old form, though, and was desperately unlucky not to win the world title last year, being hindered twice by Robles’s trailing arm, which led to the Cuban being disqualified form gold with Liu Xiang being bumped up to silver.
This year all seemed to be well set as he won a succession of races before his preparations were interrupted by a back problem which forced him to withdraw from the final at the London Diamond League meeting on July 13.
That ailment has now apparently been remedied but his coach Sun Haiping has revealed he has another problem which manifested itself when they went to Germany to fine-tune their build-up.
“His back problem is nothing to worry about, but his foot injury which has flared up is worrying me,” Sun Haiping told Xinhua agency when they arrived back in England last Friday.
“We are confident despite the injury. Just a little bit worried,” added Sun Haiping somewhat confusingly. — AFP