Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Liu Xiang: Hadn't you heard-ler?

Olympics: Liu Xiang’s exit - should we have seen this coming?

By Jeremy Webb in Beijing

The front page of every one of Beijing's major newspapers today is dedicated to the Chinese 110-metre hurdler Liu Xiang - such is the disappointment over his dramatic departure from this year's Olympic Games.

All papers are in support of China's golden boy and his decision to withdraw from the race, and unlike some Western reports – which among other things suggest that the pressure of not winning the gold might have made him quit – Chinese newspapers attribute Liu's exit solely to his Achilles tendon injury.

For many people in China, the race yesterday must have come as a terrible shock. Just minutes before the disastrous event I spoke to Wang Jiali, a student from Hunan Province, "We're behind Liu Xiang; we know he can do it!" she said.

So why did Miss Wang and so many other Chinese not see this one coming?

At a press conference after the race, head coach of China's athletics team Feng Shuyong was asked... read more

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