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Liu Xiang fouls out early at local meet
(Shanghai Daily)
Updated: 2005-02-21 15:07

Chinese Olympic 110m-hurdle hero Liu Xiang floundered on his first track appearance in 2005, fouling out at a local indoor event on Saturday.

Liu Xiang leaves the track field as he fouled out at a national indoor event Saturday in Shanghai, Feb. 19, 2004. [newsphoto]
Liu, who won the 110-meter hurdles gold at Athens six months ago, was disqualified after his second false-start in the 60-meter hurdle final at the ongoing Shanghai Indoor Track and Field Meet on Saturday afternoon. The preliminary round in the morning saw him clock a time of 7.87 seconds, first among the 20 contestants.

"I miscalculated the time between the 'get set' signal and the gun," explained Liu. "The pause was a bit shorter than normal by international standards...but I'm not blaming any one for the mistake. I should be more flexible with different styles of starters. It's a real lesson to me."

The gold medal went to Wu Youjia of Jiangsu Province, who finished in 7.78 seconds.

The three-day tournament, entering its final day today at Xinzhuang Athletics Training Center in Xuhui District, is part of an annual 15-leg domestic tour. Liu took the overall crown in the hurdles category last year.

"This was an accident," said Liu's coach Sun Haiping. "Liu has achieved in the region of 7.60 seconds in training. He's definitely in top form."

Liu, a Shanghai native, would be put to the test again next week at the Asian Indoor Track and Field Meet in northern Tianjin City.

"Our major goal for 2005 is to stage a strong campaign at both the Golden League series and the world championship and nothing has changed after today's race," said Sun, dismissing any suggestions of a setback after the fault-tainted first race of the year.

The world championship will be held in August at Helsinki, Finland.

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