August 18, 2008

Olympics: Liu Xiang Pulls Out of Race (video)

Sad for this athlete, in front of his home crowd..

Olympics: Liu Xiang Pulls Out of Race

To the jaw-dropping disappointment of all 1.3 billion Chinese watching the Olympics - Liu Xiang pulled out of the 110m hurdles just minutes ago. An injury to his hamstring has been plaguing Liu for weeks, but he was hopeful he would be able to compete. It would be little surprise if he or his couch calculated it was better to not compete at all than to compete and fail in front of an entire nation that had pinned their Olympic hopes on him.

Liu Xiang Pulls Out of the Olympics

Arguably the biggest star of the Summer Games, Chinese hurdler Liu Xiang walked off the track before competing in his 110-meter first-round heat with an obvious injury.

Liu, the reigning Olympic and world champion, had competed sparsely this summer because of hamstring problems, but he was expected to be in full health this morning.

Liu Xiang's stunning departure left the nearly sold-out crowd here murmuring in confusion. He left shortly after reigning Olympic silver medal winner Terrence Trammell pulled up lame in his heat, failing to finish.

Trammell ran over one hurdle and then stopped and walked around the second.

Earlier, world record holder Dayron Robles -- figured to be the biggest threat to Liu Xiang's dream of winning gold in his home country -- made it easily through the day's first heat, winning it in 13.39 seconds. Howard University graduate David Oliver also advanced, winning the morning's second heat in 13.30 seconds.

In a warm-up shortly before his race, Liu Xiang cleared two hurdles then dropped to his knees on the track. He was grimacing in pain, seemingly trying to stretch out his right foot. As he got in the blocks for the race, he winced and grabbed his right leg.

Olympics: Liu Xiang Pulls Out of Race

Posted at August 18, 2008 1:01 AM