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Liu Xiang joined by other big stars in athletics
Updated: 2009-10-21 00:39

JINAN, East China: Though Liu Xiang was the first Chinese athlete to win a Olympic track gold and one of the nation's biggest star, the six-day athletic events at the 11th National Games will not only focus on the 110-meter hurdle hero.

Xing Huina of the host Shandong province, the Athens Olympic gold medallist at 10,000-meter race, will step up to defend her title at 5,000-meter distance on Wednesday, which is the opening day of the track and field events slated for October 21 to 26.

20-year-old Gong Lijiao, third-place in women's shot put at World Championships in August, became the favorite to dominate in the national arena.

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Elsewhere, in women's hammer throw, Zhang Wenxiu, the Beijing Olympics bronze medallist, aimed to claim title in full confidence.

Besides, men's hammer throw, 10,000-meter race and 3,000-meter steeplechase will produce the other three golds on the first day.

Liu Xiang, the former world record holder, was due in the starting blocks for the 110-meter hurdles heats on Saturday and finals on Sunday if he goes on wheels.

While Bai Xue, the newly-crowned world women's marathon champion, looked to chase a long-distance running gold medal at the national top sport gala.