Liu doesn't think about retiring: Athletics chief

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Liu Xiang kisses the hurdle after he crashed out of the men's 110m hurdle competition at the London Olympics on August 7, 2012. [Xinhua] 

Liu Xiang is not thinking about retiring, China's athletics team leader Feng Shuyong said on a press conference on Tuesday.

Feng made the comment after Liu fell at the first hurdle in the men's 110m hurdles heat at the London Olympics.

On the medical diagnosis about Liu's injury which made he fell, Feng said, "The initial diagnosis from the medical staff is that he had a broken achilles tendon."

However, when it comes on whether Liu will return from this, Feng said, "It is hard to say. Lots of athletes get injured and come back. It depends on many factors. I hope all the fans can understand this and that anything can happen. It happens to many athletes."

Liu got another injury at the Olympic Games four years after he withdrew from Beijing 2008.

Feng said, "We've all seen how hard it is for him. It is such a pity but his spirit is there. It is the true Olympic spirit, winning is not so important, participation is what matters."

"The injury is the same one he had in Beijing (2008). In the last several years he has had good medical care, but it is still there. An achilles injury is almost impossible to recover fully."

"In races of one round he has enough time to prepare but we all know the schedule at the Olympic Games, he needs to run three rounds in two days. So if he wants to do well here, he needs to get used for this. It's difficult."

On what this means for Liu and China, Feng said, "Personally, I think he gave a lot of effort in the last four years trying to do well. He hoped to be in the stadium on the start line in the final but this is competitive sport and anything can happen."

"I really appreciate the effort he has put in over four years. We must realise how difficult it is and many difficulties he has conquered," Feng added.

"It is a real pity for him and for Chinese athletics. We believe Liu Xiang will be OK."

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