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Home >> Sports
UPDATED: 07:51, August 11, 2005
Liu Xiang fastest in 1st round at Helsinki worlds
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Olympic champion Liu Xiang of China set the fastest time of 13.73 seconds in the preliminaries to sail into the semifinals of the men's 110 meters hurdles at the10th world championships on Wednesday.

The 22-year-old, who won at Athens last year with a world record-tying time of 12.91 seconds, won Heat 2 against a headwind of 0.3 meters per second.

Liu is now China's only medal hopeful in this championships. The country's best results after four days of competition is a fourth place finish by Olympic champion Xing Huina in the women's 10,000 meters.

Four-time world champion Allen Johnson qualified from Heat 1 after battling gusting winds, which was blowing at a speed of 5.1mper second. The former Olympic champion of the United States finished second in Heat 1 in 13.92 seconds, behind Germany's Thomas Blaschek in 13.86.

Johnson, 34, said: "I've never ran into a headwind like that. Ifelt like I was being blown backwards. I thought I wasn't going toreach the next hurdle. I hope it changes on Thursday."

Frenchman Ladji Doucoure also qualified by winning Heat 3 in a time of 13.86 seconds.

Doucoure was the season's fastest hurdler with a time of 12.97 seconds, which he clocked in Angers, France, in July.

The men's 110m hurdles semifinals will be held on Thursday and the title will be decided on Friday.

Source: Xinhua

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