Chinese athletes show support for Liu Xiang
Updated: 2012-08-08 21:55
Chinese champion hurdler Liu Xiang fell over the first hurdle of the 110m hurdles heat on Tuesday. The sprinter with an Achilles-tendon injury was determined to finish the race, if only symbolically, by hopping up the track next to the hurdles on his left leg. As painful an Olympic career as he has had, Liu Xiang showed the world that one can become an Olympic hero without winning a medal. Beijing News has pooled the opinions of some Chinese athletes. Excerpts:
Yao Ming: I wish there were more hurdlers like Liu Xiang in China, so that the pressure would not have been on Liu Xiang alone. In fact, Liu Xiang's coach said a few days ago that Liu Xiang had trained in seclusion in Germany, and he would be unlikely to win the gold medal because of the injury. Although out of form, Liu Xiang still participated in the event and tried hard as an honorable athlete. The result simply does not matter.
Li Ning: Liu Xiang is an athlete who deserves our respect. He is persistent and has been working relentlessly to do his personal best. The injury did not prevent him from carrying on training and taking part in the competition. It is quite a pity that he had his Olympic dreams dashed again by injury, but I still respect him.
Sun Yang: When I saw Liu Xiang tumble over the first hurdle, my eyes brimmed with tears. As an athlete myself, I know how hard it has been for Liu Xiang the past four years. I am sorry that he has to bring his Olympics career to an end in this way. I hope that people can see beyond the medals, and that Liu Xiang can recover soon.