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Liu Xiang 刘翔 CinaOggi

Liu Xiang (simplified Chinese: 刘翔; traditional Chinese: 劉翔; pinyin: Liú Xiáng) is a Chinese 110 metre hurdler, an Olympic Gold medalist, the reigning World Champion, and is the world record holder in the 110 metre hurdles at 12.88 seconds. His 2004 Olympic gold medal was China's first in a men's track and field event. Further he is the first Chinese athlete to achieve the "triple crown" of athletics (World Record Holder, World Champion and Olympic Champion) concurrently.

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Personal

Liu Xiang was born on July 13, 1983 in Shanghai, China. He is the only child of a truck driver and a waitress. Liu was selected and enrolled in a junior sports school in the fourth grade and initially succeeded at the high jump by winning the national high-jump title for boys his age in his first year of competition. At age 15 he met hurdle coach Sun Haiping, who persuaded him to switch events.

Career

2000

Although his coach Sun described Liu Xiang's technique as "terrible" in the beginning, Liu debuted internationally at the world junior championships in 2000, finishing fourth in the 110 metre hurdles event.

2001

In May, he won at East Asian Games in Osaka, Japan with 13.42 seconds. In August, he won at World University Games in Beijing, China with 13.33 seconds.

2002

In July, Liu won a silver medal at IAAF Grand Prix in Lausanne with a world junior and Asian record time of 13.12 seconds (+1.6 m/s tailwind) in the 110 metre hurdles. Immediately after that race, Liu asked one of his heroes Allen Johnson, the then world number one sprint hurdler, for an autograph, and when interviewed at that time about the Athens Olympic Games to be held two years later, Liu stated that he would have been satisfied with qualifying just for the finals. In fact, he later went on to win that Olympic gold medal. In the same year, Liu also set the world junior indoor record holder in the 60 m hurdles with a time of 7.55 seconds. In the process of running a longer distance, Liu also set the world junior indoor record for the 50 m hurdles with a time of 6.52 seconds. However, these two particular indoor records were not officially recognized by the IAAF.孚坏壬坏

2003

In March, Liu won a bronze medal in 60 metre hurdles at IAAF World Indoor Championships in Athletics in Birmingham, UK with 7.52 seconds. In August, Liu won a bronze medal in 110 metre hurdles at the IAAF World Championships in Athletics in Paris, France with 13.23 seconds. and He was also named that year's Chinese Male Athlete of the Year through the vote of Chinese sports journalists.

2004

In May 2004 at an IAAF race in Osaka, Japan, Liu managed to beat Johnson with an Asian and personal best record time of 13.06 seconds. Liu had become his hero's equal just before the Athens Olympic Games.

Liu won the gold medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens in the 110 metre hurdles event, equaling Colin Jackson's 1993-set world record of 12.91 seconds. The wind assistance (tailwind) for Jackson's race was +0.5 m/s whereas Liu's wind assistance was +0.3 m/s. This was also the first time an athlete of non-African descent had gone under 13 seconds for the 110 metre hurdles. Liu also became just the sixth man to post a time under 13 seconds for this event. The ecstatic Liu at once fulfilled the great promise he had shown in setting a world junior record two years earlier and raised the hopes of his compatriots for a repeat victory at the 2008 Games in Beijing. Liu said that his performance, which brought China its first men's Olympic gold medal in track and field, "changes the opinion that Asian countries don't get good results in sprint races. I want to prove to all the world that Asians can run very fast." In his comments Liu gave voice to his country's cultural stereotype, which, judging from editorial comments in Chinese newspapers, he was not alone in believing. "I am a Chinese," he said, "and considering the physiology of the Chinese people, it is something unbelievable."

Liu, a 21-year-old student at East China Normal University at the time of his Athens victory, became the object of a bidding war between commercial sponsors. The Chinese Track and Field Association restricted him to four such deals.

Liu finished the season with 4 of the year's 10 fastest clockings. Reaching 17 finals in the 60 m indoor hurdles and the 110 metre hurdles, he lost just 2, both to American Allen Johnson. Liu, at 1.89 m (6 ft 2 in) and 85 kg (187 lb), was taller than most sprint hurdlers, and he showed spectacular athleticism in constraining his naturally long stride to the three-step pattern necessary for avoiding the alternation of lead legs in hurdling.

2005

In August, Liu won a silver medal at the IAAF World Championships in Athletics in Helsinki, Finland, finishing 13.08 seconds, 0.01 seconds after champion Ladji Doucouré from France. In November, he won at East Asian Games in Macau, China with 13.21 seconds. Off track, in May, he was awarded the Laureus World Sports Award for Newcomer of the Year for his breakthrough performance at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens.

2006

Liu set a new world record in the 110 metre hurdles, at the Super Grand Prix in Lausanne on July 11, 2006, with a time of 12.88 seconds (+1.1 m/s tailwind). The record was ratified by the IAAF.[2] In that same race, American Dominique Arnold had also beaten the previous record with a time of 12.90 seconds.[3] In September, he won gold at IAAF World Athletics Final in Stuttgart, Germany with 12.93 seconds.

2007

On August 31, 2007 at the World Athletics Championships in Osaka, Japan, Liu won gold in the 110 metre hurdles with 12.95 seconds to become the World Champion for the first time. Graduated from Carleton University, Ottawa.

From Wikipedia

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