News25 Nov 2010


70,000 watch Liu Xiang fly to 13.09sec victory - Asian Games, Day 4

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Liu Xiang wins at the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou, China (© Getty Images)

Around 70,000 spectators turned up to watch Liu Xiang win his third Asian Games high hurdles title on the trot at the Guangdong Olympic Stadium on Wednesday (24).

Liu Xiang won in 13.09 seconds, the third fastest man this season behind David Oliver of the USA and Dayron Robles of Cuba.

“I didn’t expect such a good result,” said the 2007 World champion about his timing. He had forecast around 13.20s after winning his heat the other day.

“I haven’t thought that I could win the Asian Games for a third time with such a good performance. I won easily, I am very happy,” he said.

Shi Dongpeng, who beat Liu Xiang in the Shanghai Diamond League meeting last May, came second, quite a distance behind after having threatened to challenge the champion midway through the race. He clocked 13.38. Korean Park Taek-Yong had a PB 13.48 for the bronze and he received high praise from Liu Xiang at the press conference.

“I told Shi Dongpeng to follow the Korean who may have a good start and follow me later on. He did very well,” said Liu Xiang.

The man whom all of China wanted to win the Olympics title in Beijing had tearfully exited the Bird’s Nest on 18 August 2008, unable to bear the pain and run in front of his fans. A year later he was to come back and win the Asian championships title in this very stadium, again beating Shi Dongpeng.

Hours ahead of the evening session, the crowds had started queuing up and well into the fourth day’s final session, consciously designed to build up the Liu fever, the spectators were still trooping in.

“They were very passionate and gave me great energy,” said Liu Xiang.

The 24-year-old former Olympic champion said that he would be concentrating on his preparations for the 2011 IAAF World Championships and the London Olympics in 2012.

Asked about whether he thought he could yet again win Olympic gold, Liu Xiang said that it was possible though tough and one had to work very hard for achieving it.

Hadadi retains title too - 67.99m throw

With the crowd either backing a Chinese on view or building up frenzy towards the arrival of Liu Xiang, a classic Discus Throw contest in which Iranian Ehsan Hadadi threw 67.99 metres, was pushed to the background.
Hadadi , who retained the title, was never stretched once he had a 65.07 on the board after starting with a 63.50. Qatari Ahmad Mohamed Dheeb had a personal best 64.56 for the silver while Iranian Mohammed Samimi took the bronze at 63.46. Missing out on medal was Commonwealth Games silver meallist Vikas Gowda of India who threw 63.13 metres.

Deok-Hyeon takes title; Daegu on everyone's minds

Hussein Taher Al-Sabee, gunning for his third Long Jump title could not do better than the bronze, with a 7.96m jump. Korean Kim Deok-Hyeon took the gold with a fifth-round effort of 8.11m, his season best, while Chinese Su Xiongfeng had 8.05m for the silver.

“My goal was 8.20 or more,” said Al-Sabee. “But I felt too nervous to achieve it,” he added. He said that his next goal was to win the gold in the World Championships in Daegu next year, an ambition surely also shared by the Korean winner.

Disaster struck a second time for Qatari Samuel Francis as he limped off the track after the 200 metres heats, apparently straining his right hamstring which he had injured earlier this season. The Asian record holder in the 100 metres had the misfortune of being disqualified for a false start and today though he squeezed into the final as a ‘lucky loser’ after clocking 21.16s it looked highly unlikely that he would be ready for the morrow.

Francis’s team-mate Femi Ogunode looked well on way to a double as he went through to the final with a heat time of 20.58s that was unmatched. He had earlier won the 400 metres gold.

By an IAAF special correspondent

RESULTS:

Men

110m Hurdles: 1. Li Xiang (Chn) 13.09s, 2. Shi Dongpeng (Chn) 13.38, 3. Park Taek-Yong (Kor) 13.48.
Long Jump: 1. Kim Deok-Hyeon (Kor) 8.11m, 2. Su Xiongfeng (Chn) 8.05, 3. Hussein Taher Al-Sabee (KSA) 7.96.
Discus Throw: 1. Ehsan Hadadi (Iri) 67.99m, 2. Ahmad Mohamed (Qat) 64.56, 3. Mohammad Samimi (Iri) 63.46

Women:

Pole Vault: 1. Li Caixia (Chn) 4.30, 2. Li Ling (Chn) 4.30, 3. Tomomi Abiko (Jpn) 4.15.

Click here for FULL RESULTS