Yesterday Monday was a black day in China as thousands of Chinese in the Bird’s Nest and around the country were seen crying after the shock injury to their star track athlete Liu Xiang.
It was a scene that would never been forgotten in China in a hurry when the most popular athlete during the warming up before his first round heat was seen in pain after jumping the first hurdle.
He was still determined to compete, but when they went to their blocks and one of the athlete beat the gun, Liu Xiang gave up and removed his lane numbers and shook his head to the jam packed Bird’s Nest to signal it is over.
He was clearly out of sorts and grimaced in pain as he went down into the blocks.
The stadium immediately became a graveyard as the fans were in disbelief that their star is out of the Olympics without competing.
As he disappeared down the tunnel, the Chinese fans started crying and shocking even the foreigners.
The Chinese reporter from CCTV was unable to hold her emotions as she burst into tears when sending her report.
Immediately, a press conference was conveyed by Liu Xiang’s coach and two other officials to explain what happened.
The coach said the previous injury to the athlete was a thigh injury and that had been healed completely, but this time it was his tendon that he felt has been a problem with him for some years now. As the coach explained, he was still visibly shocked because the hope of his athlete to defend his title had been blown in a matter of seconds. He burst into tears and had to be controlled by another Chinese official who was able to explain to the reporters and answer their questions.
The most ironical side of the story was that during the heat before Liu Xiang’s, the American Silver medalist behind Liu Xiang in Athens Terrence Trammell also in lane two suffered the same fate as Liu.
It was like a mystery to both of them to be in the same lane and suffer injury which ruled them out of the tournament.
On Monday morning, they were seen together in the practice grounds loosening up and chatting as they prepared for their first round of heat, but luck was not on their side as they will not be able to defend their medals today in the ongoing Olympics.
China’s pursuit in track gold seems to be over as he was the best athlete on the track and United States will be relying on David Oliver to push Robbles all the way for the gold medal.
The way is now very open for the world record holder Dayron Robbels from Cuba who is now the clear favourite for the Gold.
Liu Xiang was very popular in China with his posters all over the vast country on adverts in the Olympic campaign. Indeed he was very very popular and was the hope of China winning a medal on the track.
Indeed, this will go down in the history of Olympic hurdles when the defending gold and silver medalist suffered injury in the same stage of qualifying and on the same lane.
By Austin Thomas in China