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LinkAsia | Aug 10
Chinese hurdler Liu Xiang won China's first ever men's track and field gold medal at the 2004 Athens games, but bowed out in Beijing due to injury....
Liu's disastrous performance led to a torrent of comments on Chinese social media.
A television anchor in Shanghai offered his support. He said:
"You're a hero who allowed China to raise its head proudly on the track and field world stage for ten years. Only to be cursed half to death by your countrymen. I heard your mom said, 'The Olympics are over, can I have my son back? My heart is broken now.'"
One of Liu's teammates seemed to blame public pressure:
"Actually, after Liu Xiang was injured in 2008, doctors said it would be hard for him to return to the same form he was in at Athens. But too many people got on his case."
And one angry Weibo user blamed the British, claiming they had rigged the hurdles so that one of theirs could take the gold:
"It's said that Liu Xiang's 7-step hurdling method works when the first hurdle is 13.72 meters away from the starting line -- But those British pigs train at a distance of 13.85 meters, so Liu Xiang didn't fall on the hurdle. The British did this so that they could win the gold medal."
And finally, this post pointed to Liu's illustrious track record and said that people were making too much of the Olympics:
"Since 2000, Liu Xiang has participated in 48 international hurdles events. He's won 36 times, was runner-up 6 times, was in third place 3 times, pulled out of 2. But some people only seem to have heard of 3 events: Athens, Beijing, London."
After the race, Liu Xiang texted his parents, writing: "I've decided to get surgery. It's normal for an athlete to get injured. Don't worry, I'll be back."