Chinese Olympic champion and 110 metres world record holder Liu Xiang was disqualified from the Prefontaine Classic grand prix meeting when he false started on Sunday.
Hurdler Liu Xiang, from China, untangles himself from the second hurdle after he was disqualified for a second false start during the Prefontaine Classic track and field meet in Eugene, Ore., Sunday, June 8, 2008. [Agencies]
Liu, who had been hampered earlier by a sore right hamstring, moved ever so slightly at the start of the race and since it was the second false start of the competition under international rules he was automatically disqualified.
"I don't really know what happened on the false start," he told an interpreter. "My speed is so fast I did not realise I had the false start."
Liu had run about 10 metres when the recall gun sounded. He shook his head in disbelief after learning of his disqualification. American Anwar Moore won the race in a wind-assisted 13.09secs
"I am not disappointed, it's just a pity," Liu said. "But it is past already."
Liu had withdrawn from the Reebok Grand Prix last weekend with a tight hamstring but his coaches said he was experiencing no problems in warm-ups on Sunday.
"It is getting much better," Liu said.
The race was his last foreign competition before the Beijing Olympics, where he will be China's top hope for an athletics gold medal.
He will likely run one or two races in Beijing in July as final tune-ups for the Olympics, his coaches said.
(China Daily/Agencies June 9, 2008)