The glare of the
spotlight. The graceful flight of the hurdlers. The final burst of speed. The
long standing ovation. The crush of the media as they jostled for an
These are just some of the ingredients in Liu Xiang's victory in the
110m hurdles at the Doha Asian
The Olympic champion and world record holder yesterday broke the Asian Games
record, which he set four years ago in Busan, with a time of 13.15. Team-mate Shi
Dongpeng was just behind him with a time of 13.28.
Liu was glad to run a better time than expected.
"It was a very good result. I did not expect to come in under 13.20. My
original target was to just break the previous record 13.27. I thought maybe
13.25 or 13.24 would be the winning time," said a confident Liu.
Even Liu's rivals admire his dominance of Asian
track and field.
"Liu Xiang is the best athlete here. He is so fast that everyone else is just
coming to fight for the silver," said local hurdler Al Thawadi Mohammed Essa,
who came sixth.
"I was trying to catch up with him, but it was hard. He is my idol and I am
watching. Actually we are very good friends."
Liu's overwhelming speed also helped push second-placed Shi, who delivered a
"In Asia, there are no challengers. Shi is the second best in the area. I
congratulated him right after the match. Also thanks to his tight chase behind
me, I dared not slow down too much during the competition. So that is the reason
I got a 13.15 result," he said.
The duo held a national flag and ran a lap around
the stadium, waving to supporting fans, mostly Chinese.
The champion said that he would return home after the Asian Games to take a
"I will stay with my parents for some time and enjoy some good home cooking
made by my mum," he said.
"But before coming home, I will have a few days in Doha and will go out for
shopping. I heard the world's leading watch brands are cheaper in Doha, so I
think I will get some gifts for my family."
After a short vacation, Liu will start preparing for the world championships
in Japan in August.
"I will try to get a better result than at the last championships," said Liu,
who settled for a silver at last tournament in Helsinki.