Star hurdler Liu Xiang brought another wave of zeal all through China after an inspiring world record of 12.88 seconds in 110-meter hurdles out of a super Grand Prix meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland on Tuesday.
Early Wednesday morning, congratulations to Liu for breaking the record highlighted the blackboard at the track and field administrative center of the State Sports General Administration. The center is gearing up for greeting Liu's being back home and all the staff would unfold pride whenever Liu came to their topic.
"Tomorrow is Liu Xiang's birthday and is also the fifth anniversary for China winning the bid of the Beijing Olympic Games, so it really is a double happiness day," said one functionary from the center.
"12.88 belongs to Liu Xiang, also to China" was titled in a whole-page report in "Beijing Evening" published in Wednesday afternoon.
"Today's newspaper sells well and only a few Evening papers are left. Those who already read the morning newspaper came to buy the Evening to probe further information about Liu Xiang, who save us face," a newspaper stall holder said full of smile on Xin Wenhua street of Xi Cheng district in Beijing.
"The guy (Liu Xiang) is really something, and I hope he can revive the spring for the Chinese track and field," said Zhen Fengrong, a former world record holder in women's high jump.
Zheng, the first Chinese to break an athletics world record as she cleared 177 centimeters in 1957 at the age of 20, said Liu Xiang and his coach Sun Haiping have ushered in a new future for Chinese athletics.
Back to Shanghai, Liu's home city, the news infiltered into every corner of the internationalized metropolis partially attributing to Liu Xiang and Yao Ming, China's Houston Rockets NBA star, amassing worldwide reputation.
"Warmly celebrating Liu Xiang breaking 110-meter hurdles in 12.88" was projected on the electronic screen at the gate of Shanghai Xinzhuang training base.
Chinese women hurdler Feng Yun, Liu's teammate, said she had not taken the news for real when she received a text message in cell phone saying Liu breaking the world record at 4 A.M in the dawn. "I just thought I was in my dream and slept on until I got it approved in morning session of training, and then spread the news around," said Feng.
"Liu Xiang broke the world record (in 110-meter hurdles), which sparked not only Chinese sports, but embodied a strong image for China and for Shanghai meanwhile," said Qiu Weichang, the vice director from the Sports Bureau of Shanghai.
Liu Xiang heat flooded Chinese news portals. "Liu Xiang, I am proud of you. You are so cool," cheered a net surfer in news web portal, Xinhuanet.com.
"Liu Xiang, the most handsome man in China! the most glamorous man in China," said another carried by the portal, Sina.com.
With Chinese weariness toward its soccer being kept far away from televised World Cup, notes of congratulations from thousands of well-wishers appeared within hours of the 13-year-old 12.91 mark dying.
"Chinese soccer should learn from you, and you well examplified for Chinese soccer players. Liu Xiang is so great," suggested one netizen.