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Liu Xiang takes opening win in outdoor season

(Xinhua)

10:15, May 07, 2012

TOKYO, May 6 (Xinhua) -- China's star hurdler Liu Xiang took the opening win in his outdoor season, storming to top podium in the men's 110-meter hurdles event at the IAAF Golden Grand Prix in Kawasaki, Japan on Sunday.

With the absence of big names including Cuba's world record holder Dayron Robles as well as America's David Oliver, Aries Merritt and Ryan Wilson, the 28-year-old Liu emerged as the hottest favorite in Kawasaki. And Liu Xiang also proved his strength in the race, claiming the convincing victory in 13.09 seconds as he led from the start on a wet track.

Omo Osaghae of United States finished second in 13.33 while his countryman Ronald Brookins took the third position in 13.69.

Liu's winning mark is the second fastest time this season. America's Aries Merritt just set his personal best and the season fastest time of 13.03 seconds two days ago in Fayetteville, USA.

After withdrawing from the the Beijing Olympic Games due to a heel injury, Liu is keen to restore his glory in London this summer. It was the first outdoor race for the Athens Olympic champion who has adopted to the strategy of seven steps to the first hurdle.

Liu will next return to his home town Shanghai and compete in the Samsung Diamond League Shanghai leg on May 19 as part of his buildup for the London Olympic Games.

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