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All that's left for Liu is warm-up

(China Daily)

10:50, July 13, 2012

The IAAF Diamond League London Grand Prix will be the last warm-up track and field event before the Olympics, but Liu Xiang won't be going full throttle.

China's Olympic champion hurdler, who arrived in London on Thursday to prepare for his third Games campaign, shrugged off the importance of the London meet, which will be staged at Crystal Palace on Friday.

"I won't take it as a competition. I am pretty relaxed and I will take it as easy as a practice," Liu said upon his arrival at Heathrow Airport.

"I've done all I can to prepare for (the London meet). I just need to acclimate to the weather here … nothing special. I am ready and focused."

Liu, who turns 29 on Friday, said he won't fight for a good result on his birthday as he has just finished an intensive period of training and racing.

"No goals in regards to results this time. I just need to appear and run," Liu said.

Featuring the same two-race-a-day format as the Olympics (where the semis and final will start within two hours of each other on Aug 8), the London meet will present a fine dress rehearsal for athletes two weeks before the Games.

The United States duo of outdoor world champion Jason Richardson and this season's best-time holder Aries Merritt will take part in the race as a final tune-up as well.

Liu has beaten the American pair twice — at the league's Shanghai and Eugene stops — but is playing down expectations of a gold medal at the Games.

"I know everybody in China has very high expectations of me to regain the gold medal. I am used to that," Liu said. "But I always remain calm in my approach. Making it to the finals (top eight) will be OK for me."

Liu won't join the China team's pre-Olympics camp at Leeds University, but will instead stay with his team at St. Mary's College, which is located in the southwest of London.


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