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Liu and Powell work toward Beijing gold
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World record hurler Liu Xiang and 100 meters sprinter Asafa Powell are confident of picking up gold medals in their respective events at next year's Olympic Games in Beijing.

"We like each other very much and I think Powell is the greatest 100-meter sprinter in the world," Liu said yesterday. "I expect him to win every race because of his determination and his single-minded purpose as he speeds towards the line. This is the most important mindset for any athlete in a competition."

Powell said he liked Liu and enjoyed his sense of humor.

"I will have to train intensively from now on .... in fact I have already begun my preparations for the Games," the Jamaican said. "I will come to Beijing ahead of time next year to adapt to the climate."

Liu too said he was getting ready with his preparations.

"I will go to Beijing next week to begin my intensive training and I think we are both confident of winning medals," said Liu, who carries China's hopes for an athletic gold at the Olympics.

Shanghai-born Liu is the first Chinese to win a gold medal in an Olympic sprinting event. He clocked 12.91 seconds in the 110-meter hurdles at the Athens Olympics before smashing a world record 12.88 at the Super Grand Prix in Lausanne, Switzerland, in 2006.

The track stars were in Shanghai for a promotion and to shoot for a TV commercial.

(Shanghai Daily December 9, 2007)

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