Liu Xiang's back as China sets new medal record

08:12, November 25, 2010      

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China's Liu Xiang jubilates after the men's 110m hurdles final of athletics at the 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou, south China's Guangdong Province, Nov. 24, 2010. Liu claimed the title of the event with 13.09 seconds. (Xinhua/Li Yong)

Hurdler Liu Xiang stated his full recovery from a stunning Beijing Olympics exit as the Asian Games Wednesday saw a second doping case and China's new record on medal tally.

The former world record holder, hitting the track at only his second event in a year, extended his lead over the last four hurdles to snatch the men's 110m hurdles gold medal in his season best 13.09 seconds.

His Chinese teammate and Athletes' village roommate Shi Dongpeng took silver in 13.38.

Carrying a nation's expectations, Liu limped off two years ago with an Achilles injury before even starting his first heat at the Beijing Games, leaving the whole Bird's Nest stadium in stunned silence.

Liu's only other impressive result after comeback was at a September 2009 meet in Shanghai where he timed 13.15 seconds.

"I am very happy to win the Asian Games title the third time," said the 27-year-old former Olympic and world champion after Wednesday's gold-winning final. "I didn't expect I could race in 13.09."

What was truly unexpected on Wednesday was that the Olympic Council of Asia revealed a second doping scandal, which involved a second Uzbek athlete.

Jakhongir Muminov, a Greco-Roman 84kg division wrestler, tested positive for Methylhexaneamine in an out-of-competition doping test on Nov. 19, OCA medical committee chairman Dr. Mani Jegathesan told press.

In the Games' first doping case, Uzbekistan's judoka Shokir Muminov was stripped of his silver medal last Friday after testing positive for the same banned stimulant.

The two athletes are not related and there was "no evidence" to prove the systematic use of drugs by Uzbek athletes, though the OCA has asked Uzbekistan to look into the incidents, according to Jegathesan.

As of Nov. 23, the organizing committee had conducted a total of 1,262 tests and 1,090 tests have returned the results, according to the OCA medical chief.

In last Asian Games in Doha, four weightlifters, including two Uzbekistan athletes, were disqualified for positive doping tests.

China's new mark of on the Asiad medal tally, however, has been quite foreseeable.

With Li Caixia's gold and Li Ning's silver in the women's pole vault, China surpassed the previous record of 342 medals that the hosts registered in Beijing 20 years ago.

Also the home delegation is on course to refresh the gold medals mark with just three days of competition left. China's best ever haul of gold stands at 183 in the Beijing Asian Games in 1990.

The 18-year-old rookie He Min stunned Olympic winner Qin Kai to lift the men's 1 meter springboard title, after Olympic champion Wu Minxia met no challenge to claim the women's 1m springboard crown.

China's women's hockey team achieved a hat-trick of golds in the Asiad after ousting South Korea 5-4 in a penalty shoot-out, and Xu Linyin/Wu Penggen and Gao Peng/Li Jian finished 1-2 in men's beach volleyball.

Elsewhere, Asian record holder Ehsan Hadidi gave Iran its 16th gold medal of the games with victory in the men's discus, and South Korea's Kim Deok-hyeon edged China's Su Xiongfeng in the men's long jump.

Saudi Arabia picked up another equestrian title with Hamad Ramzy Alduhami winning the show jumping, while Qatar Rally auto racing champion Nasser Saleh Al Attiyah led a men's team skeet title request.

Late on Wednesday, China beat Chinese Taipei to set up the women's basketball final with South Korea. Japan and Iran beat respective rivals to seal a final encounter against each other in men's volleyball.

Source: Xinhua

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