CHENGDU, Southwest China -- Chinese hurdler Liu Xiang Monday visited students in a primary school in Beichuan County, a hard-hit area in last year's devastating May 12 earthquake, and showed them how to run hurdles.
Liu, 25 and once the world champion of 110-meter hurdles, made his visit to Sichuan Province to mark the first anniversary of the disaster, which falls on Tuesday.
Chinese hurdler Liu Xiang waves a flag at a primary school in quake-hit Beichuan county, southwest China's Sichuan province, Monday May 11, 2009. [Xinhua]
The gold medalist in the Athens Olympic Games in 2004 had a physical education class with students of Ping'an Hope Primary School on a 40-meter-long and 4-meter-wide aisle between the school's prefabricated buildings.
Surrounded by about 100 pupils, Liu spoke about various methods for running hurdles and demonstrated how to do it right for the pupils in about 20 minutes.
Liu also showed students how to do standard leg lifts when he saw some of them were not doing well enough.
He said it would not be a show of hurdling before his visit to the school.
"It is a memorable experience for children, even for me, to have these lessons with a world champion," said Luo, a teacher at the school.
Liu said before leaving that the time with the children was too short and promised to return.
Liu has been in training since he returned to Shanghai in March after three months in the United States, where he underwent surgery on his right ankle tendon in December.
His right ankle injury forced him out of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games despite high hopes for a gold medal in his home country, and the world is now waiting to see his comeback on the track.
The worst quake in decades left 68,712 people dead and another 17,921 missing in southwest China.