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Liu feels for Yao, denies extra pressure
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Liu Xiang, together with his coach Sun Haiping (left), arrives at the athletes' apartment of the State General Administration fro Sports in Beijing yesterday.(Source: China Daily)

The defending Olympic hurdle champion feels sorry for his Shanghai hometown pal Yao Ming, the NBA star whose season-ending foot injury might keep him out of the Beijing Games.

But Liu said he is not yet feeling the added sense of responsibility now placed on his own shoulders. "There should not be any more pressure on me," he said.

The 1.3 billion Chinese, and the rest of the world for that matter, consider the smooth Liu the greatest hurdler and a cinch for perhaps the only gold they might pluck from the emblematic Bird's Nest stadium in Beijing.

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