Liu Xiang to receive award at Asian Championships

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 Liu Xiang.

Retired Chinese star hurdler Liu Xiang will receive a special contribution award at the upcoming Asian Athletics Championships, the organizers said on Tuesday.

Liu, who announced his retirement in April, will attend the championships to be held in central China's Wuhan between June 3-7, and receive the "special gift" from the Asian Athletics Association (AAA).

According to the organizers, the newly elected AAA president Dahlan Al Hamad, who's just paid a visit to Wuhan, agreed with the Chinese Athletics Association to present the special contribution award to Liu in honor of his outstanding career.

Liu became China's first male Olympic champion in athletics when he won the 110m hurdles at the 2004 Games, equalling Briton Colin Jackson's world record of 12.91 seconds. Three years later he won a world championship gold in Osaka, Japan.

Liu bettered the world record to 12.88 seconds in Lausanne, Switzerland in July 2006. Aries Merritt of the United States is current world record holder in 12.80.

At the 2008 Beijing Games, Liu limped off in a first-round heat with an aggravated Achilles tendon injury following another runner's false start.

Four years later at the London Olympics, Liu pulled out of competition again.

The Asian championships have attracted more than 900 athletes from 33 countries and regions. The Chinese athletes will use it as a warmup event for the August world championships to be held in Beijing.

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