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China Daily Website

Yearender China sports: Harvest year for Chinese athletics

Updated: 2012-12-27 15:41
( Xinhua)

Although failing to bring new Olympic honor to China, the men's 110m hurdling star Liu Xiang shall never be forgotten. The Athens Olympic champion exited the London Games after smashing into the first obstacle of his 110m hurdles heat in London, four years after he was forced to withdraw due to a tendon injury from his heat at the 2008 Beijing Games.

Yearender China sports: Harvest year for Chinese athletics

Liu Xiang crashes into the first barrier in the opening heat of the 110m hurdles in London on Aug 7, 2012. In a poignant and brave gesture Liu picks himself up, and despite being injured, hops to the last hurdle and kisses it. To the roar of the crowd Liu then embraces his waiting rivals who help him from the track. [Photo by Cui Meng / China Daily]

Only this time Liu made things different. He hopped over the rest of the distance on his left foot to symbolically finish his race. He also stopped at the last hurdle and kissed it, earning a rousing ovation from the 80,000 crowd at the Olympic Stadium.

Liu, given the "Fighting Spirit Award" at the annual athletics awarding gala, has been considering a comeback next June.

"Liu Xiang's foot recovery is satisfying. If everything goes well, he can be back to training in June next year or even sooner," said his coach Sun Haiping.

The supporters of Liu Xiang can find hope in his positive recovery. Du Zhaocai, vice-chairman of the Chinese Athletics Association, also found his hope as he believed the good performances of the country's track and field athletes have given him the confidence to expect a bright future.

"Our athletes made some progress and performed well in London Olympics. But we have already set our eyes on next year, which will be the start of a new Olympic cycle. We will keep working hard for better results in Rio in 2016," said an ambitious Du.

Related stories about Liu Xiang's injuries:

Liu Xiang expected to return to training in June: coach

Liu Xiang to walk in early October

Liu Xiang breaks down epic fall in London

Sports chief plays down Liu Xiang's comeback talk

Liu Xiang returns to China after surgery

Liu Xiang receives surgery at Wellington hospital

Fans react to Liu Xiang's crash

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