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Liu Xiang strides to final with ease

2009-10-25 11:50 BJT

Special Report: 11th National Games |

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The biggest star in Chinese athletics arrived on the track at the Jinan Olympic Center stadium Saturday night.

All eyes were on Liu Xiang in the 110 meter hurdles. Fans watched as he took another stride back to major competition since he withdrew from the Beijing Olympic Games with an ankle injury 14 months ago.

Liu Xiang started in the third and last heat. He knew he only needed to run inside 13.80 seconds to advance to the final. That information left him under little pressure, since his time in last month's Shanghai Golden Grand Prix was a stunning 13.15 seconds.

Liu ran alongside fellow gold medal hopeful Ji Wei and didn't press him too much in the first stretch.

Both Liu and Ji established a clear advantage over the rest of the field, and let-up in the final dash. Liu was happy to let Ji cross the line first in 13.70 seconds.

Liu was 5 hundredths of a second back as he prepares for the real test in Sunday night's final.

Liu Xiang, said, "I didn't think too much of it, since it is just the heat. All I have to do is to enter the final. Hopefully I can run better than today. I think the National Games are the highest-level domestic competition in China. But for me, it's just like a training course."

Editor: Zhang Pengfei | Source: