The iconic Liu Xiang shows resilience in completing the race despite falling at the first hurdle.
I was a hurdler once in secondary school. To fall at the first hurdle is crushing.
The 110m hurdle event is visually, for the athlete – one of the toughest track and field challenges. At the starting blocks, all one sees is a uniform sea of white with slivers of red track ahead. It’s a wholly different perspective from being part of the spectator stands. It is a race of technique, form and grace. Each athlete trains to an absolute number of strides to clear each hurdle – it needs precision like clockwork. So the event is as much about tactics, technique and really, thinking and being a gazelle.
To clear the first hurdle lays the pulse to tick down the game plan for the rest of the race. And at the starting blocks, I can only imagine the weight of a nation’s expectations on those shoulders.
“He was definitely crushed under the pressure of the nation…” Liu Chuang, Chinese student from Ningbo, Zhejiang province
This article goes on to show how much the Chinese love their sporting emblem.
Liu Xiang hit by two-time injury-worry before London Olympics (Xinhua, August 7, 2012)
Other headlines from around the world:
Melbourne – Great bawl of China: hero falls at first hurdle (The Age, August 8, 2012)
London – London 2012 hurdles: Liu Xiang of China crashes out of Olympics (BBC, August 8, 2012)
New York – Chinese Hurdler Tripped Up Again (New York Times, August 7, 2012)
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Liu Xiang falls on London Olympic debut
by Chen Xiangfeng
Source – China Daily, published August 8, 2012
Liu Xiang crashes into the first barrier in the opening heat of the 110m hurdles in London on Tuesday. In a poignant and brave gesture Liu picks himself up, and despite being injured, hops to the last hurdle and kisses it. To the roar of the crowd Liu then embraces his waiting rivals who help him from the track. (Photos by Cui Meng / China Daily, AP and Xinhua)
At least this time, Liu Xiang got to run. Of course, it was only for a few steps, and the result was the same — an early exit from the Olympics and an exceedingly disappointed nation.
China’s track and field star again saw his gold-medal hopes dashed prematurely, as he hammered into the top of the first barrier with his lead leg and tumbled to the ground in the first heat of the 110m hurdles at the London Games on Tuesday.
The former Olympic and world champion picked himself up slowly, not daring to put his injured right foot on the ground, and hopped into the tunnel. Read the rest of this entry »
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