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Liu becomes first Chinese man to be crowned at athletics worlds

Updated:2007-08-31 From:Xinhuanet
Liu becomes first Chinese man to be crowned at athletics worlds

Liu becomes first Chinese man to be crowned at athletics worlds

OSAKA, Aug. 31 (Xinhua) -- Athens Olympics champion Liu Xiang became the first Chinese man to take a gold medal at the world athletics championships after winning the 110 meters hurdles here on Friday.

Liu, who holds the world record of 12.88 seconds, clocked 12.95seconds for the historical win. Terrence Trammell from the United States took the silver in 12.99 and his fellow American David Payne won the bronze in 13.02.

The 24-year-old Liu was competing in his fourth world championships. He failed to reach the final in Edmonton 2001, took the bronze in Paris 2003 and won the silver in Helsinki 2005.

"I am very, very excited," a jubilant Liu said after running a victory lap. "I am the world champion now."

The Shanghai native said that he did not start very well, otherwise he could run faster than 12.90 seconds.

Liu becomes first Chinese man to be crowned at athletics worlds

Liu becomes first Chinese man to be crowned at athletics worlds

"I had thought I could run into 12.90 seconds but the start was not good. However, the win is enough, and I have shown the world what the Asian speed is."

He said that he had too much pressure during the championships, so he was very nervous before the race began.

"I have never been so nervous," he said. "Even more nervous than in the Athens Olympics. Too many people there are watching me, but before Athens, I was little known. In the past few days, it's like a 'torture' for me."

Liu's fellow Chinese Shi Dongpeng, who was seventh in 2003, took the fifth place with a personal best of 13.19 seconds.

Cuba's Dayron Robles was fourth in 13.15.

Liu becomes first Chinese man to be crowned at athletics worlds

Liu becomes first Chinese man to be crowned at athletics worlds

Shi, also coached by Liu Xiang's coach Sun Haiping, said he had thought Liu's winning time was 12.85 seconds.

"I did not see the screen clearly after finishing home. I saw the time was 12.85," he said. "Oh, that's great. But later on, I was told the time was 12.95."

"But I believe he can break the world record again," Shi said.

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