China’s 2004 Olympic and 2007 World 110m Hurdles champion Liu Xiang, who is preparing for his outdoor season opener at the Samsung Diamond League meeting in Shanghai on Sunday 15 May, met up with golf legend Tiger Woods yesterday (13).
The two men were in Beijing at the city’s Sports University where they shared their experiences with students concerning the highs and lows of their careers, relaying a clear message that anything can be accomplished if they freed their minds and faced up to difficulties and challenges.
The 27-year-old former World record holder for the sprint hurdles took his third Asian Games title last November in Guangzhou, China, in a promising 13.09 secs performance, and followed that with a solid indoor season in Europe. At long last Liu Xiang is making a consistent comeback after years of injury which have blighted his career since he limped out of the opening round at the 2008 Olympic Games. His time in Guangzhou made him the third fastest hurdler in the world last year behind USA’s 2008 Olympic bronze medallist David Oliver, and Cuba’s Dayron Robles, who won the Beijing Olympic crown.
Reflecting on his injuries Liu Xiang told the students in Beijing that "every time you break out of a bottleneck point, you go beyond yourself. Every challenge of this kind is an opportunity to strengthen and reinvent yourself."
China’s Xinhua news agency also confirmed that Liu Xiang had admitted that the road to recovery was immensely tough, filled with unimaginable pressure and pain both physically and mentally, but it also opened his eyes to the ways to take on hardships, to disregard pressure and judgment from others, to forget about success and failure, and to believe in oneself.
Liu Xiang’s outdoor season debut on 15 May couldn’t get much tougher as he will face David Oliver at the Dunlop Shanghai Golden Grand Prix, the second leg of the 14 meeting 2011 Samsung Diamond League. As well as being the fastest man in the world in 2010 the American was the overall season event winner of the Diamond Race in last year’s inaugural Samsung Diamond League series, and beat the Shanghai native into third place at last year’s meeting in his home city. Oliver also won their last meeting, indoors at 60m Hurdles indoors, this winter in Karlsruhe (13 Feb).
Chris Turner/IAAF for the Samsung Diamond League
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