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Liu Xiang deserves to win at Daegu, says China's head coach


08:20, September 01, 2011

Liu Xiang gestures as he walks out of the Shanghai Pudong International Airport in east China's Shanghai, Aug. 31, 2011. Liu, the new silver medalist of men's 110m hurdles at IAAF World Championships, came back from Daegu of South Korea on Wednesday. (Xinhua/Fan Jun)

DAEGU, South Korea, Aug. 31 (Xinhua) -- Liu Xiang would have been "100 percent sure" to win the men's 110 meters hurles gold medal if he had not been fouled by Cuba's Dayron Robles, said Feng Shuyong, head coach of the Chinese national team here on Wednesday.

"I feel proud of Liu Xiang," Feng said. "He has come a long and difficult way to get here after the Beijing Olympic Games. It's hard for him. This incident in Daegu is misfortunate for both Robles and Liu Xiang. But this is the reality."

Robles won a thrilling race in 13.14 seconds, edging out America's Jason Richardson by just 0.02sec but the Cuban made contact with Liu.

China launched a protest on behalf of Liu, who appeared to be impeded when Robles strayed to the edge of his lane and the pair clashed arms at each of the last two hurdles, was upheld.

Robles then was disqualified by the IAAF under rule 163.2 for obstruction on the track. The gold medal was awarded to Richardson and Liu got the silver.

"We protested and the IAAF stand behind us, but Liu Xiang lost the gold medal. Without the incident, I am 100 percent sure that he would have won the gold medal."

But Feng admitted that Robles pushed back Liu Xiang intentionally.

"Many Chinese netizens argued that Robles did it viciously. But I don't think so. Under very competitive circumstances, I think Robles did not realize what he had really done."

Feng said Liu, despite losing the gold medal, has given all the fans confidence for next year's London Olympics. "It shows that Liu Xiang has got back to the top. Although he is still under very tough pressure. He is a rare example in the world to fight back to peak form after a very serious injury.

"I know that he has a dream. That is to win the Olympic gold medal again in the London Olympic Games. "

Liu, the 2004 Olympic gold medalist and one time world record holder, won the gold medal at the 2007 world championships in Osaka, Japan. But he shocked the world after withdrawing from the semifinals of the Beijing Olympic Games with an Achilles injury.


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