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Liu Xiang vows to bounce back in Berlin Worlds and London Olympics
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Liu Xiang, who saw his Olympic champion taken away by Cuban Dayron Robles on Thursday, has vowed that he will come back stronger in next year's world championships and even the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Liu, China's most famous sports star and 2004 Olympic 110m hurdles champion, withdrew with an injury from his qualifying heat, to the surprise of all the Chinese fans.

"I am not upset after watching the final race (which Robles won). On the contrary, I felt the desire for victory burning. I am still young. I have the potential. I can fight on against him (Robles)," Liu said in his Friday's column on Liberation Daily.

Liu is still staying in Beijing and he said that he is being treated with traditional Chinese medicine.

"I will return to Shanghai and wait for my injury to heal completely. And then I will resume training. I believe I will win.

"I cannot appear in the Bird's Nest at the Olympic Games, but I believe that I will appear on the tracks of next year's world championships and even the London Olympic Games," he said.

Liu, who watched Thursday night's final on TV in his Beijing hotel room, said Roble's winning time of 12.93 seconds was "very good" considering the wet conditions.

"I had expected David Oliver would have brought some challenge to him, but Robles was really in great form. Normally if he has taken the lead, it's hard for anybody to catch up," he said.

Liu won the gold in the Athens Olympics in a world record-tying time of 12.91 seconds. He went on to break the world record in 2007 in 12.88. Robles then improved the mark to 12.87 last June. On a track where Usain Bolt broke the men's 100m and 200m world records, Robles' winning is not impressive.

"The track is very slippery after the rain on Thursday morning. It was not easy to clock such a time, which proved he was in good form."

Liu, who beat the Cuban at last year's world championships in Osaka, Japan, said he is not sure if a healthy Liu can beat Robles in the Bird's Nest National Stadium.

"If I were there on Thursday, I still couldn't predict the result (of the final). As long as an athlete has tried his best, he or she will have no regrets," Liu said.

The Liberation Daily has bought the exclusive right to run the columns of Liu Xiang and his coach Sun Haiping during the Games time, according to a reporter with the Shanghai-based newspaper.

(Xinhua News Agency August 22, 2008)

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