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Top 10 highest-earning Chinese athletes of 2012 (9)  15:09, January 07, 2013

Liu Xiang (刘翔)(

Sport: Hurdles

Age: 30

2012 earnings: 38 million yuan (US$6.09 million)

2011 ranking: 3

Liu Xiang is unquestionably one of the most renowned and successful Chinese athletes in the world. Born in 1983, Liu won his first Olympic gold medal in the 2004 Athens Olympics, China's first and only gold in the men's track and field event.

Although his fans were eagerly awaiting an encore in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Liu was forced to withdraw from the Games at the last minute because of a lingering foot injury. After four years of waiting, on August 7, 2012, Liu crashed into the first barrier during the opening heat of the 110m hurdles, and with that came an end to his third time participating in the Olympics. Till now, whether or not Liu can ever return to the competition remains unknown, but he certainly is a cherished national icon of China.

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