Olympics-Liu happy to compete with himself to improve times

Reuters

Tue, 27 Mar 11:08:00 2012

Former Olympic and world high hurdles champion Liu Xiang would rather concentrate on his own strengths than worry about his opponents in his bid to improve his times in the runup to the London Games.

A foot injury thwarted Liu's Beijing Olympics hopes and kept him off the track until late 2009 but the Chinese athlete is once again healthy and confident to overcome his 2008 disappointment.

Speaking at an event to launch the Shanghai leg of the Diamond League meeting scheduled for May 19, Liu said he ran every time to improve his previous performance.

"I feel that of course everyone who comes here are guests. But those who come to compete (at the Diamond League) will not be friendly and those who are friendly will not come here to compete," Liu said.

"But the main thing is that I am competing against myself. They have their strengths and I have mine.

"Every time I compete, I feel that I can run faster than the previous competition.

"It will be up me to see how I can train well and have a good analysis of how I performed after every competition."

Liu is now armed with a new starting technique, which reduces his approach to the first hurdle from eight to seven strides, but he still finished second in the 60 metres hurdles at the world indoor championships in Istanbul this month.

The athlete's coach, Sun Haiping said Liu was more comfortable with the new technique after Turkey.

"Liu Xiang's startup approach has improved a lot. Of course we cannot say it is faultless, there are still some problems today," Sun said.

"But we can say that after Turkey, his seven-step startup run has basically taken shape and is mature."

Liu still has occasional reactions to his old injury but the coach said it was not affecting the athlete's training.

"There is still one problem and it is that once the intensity is quite great, he still has some kind of reaction," Sun said.

"But with our team being able to manage quite well in controlling this injury, preventing new injuries and his rehabilitation, Liu Xiang's training is basically not being affected."

 

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