SHANGHAI: Chinese superstar Liu Xiang faces a huge test of his Olympic credentials when he lines up against reigning 110m hurdles world champion Jason Richardson at Shanghai’s Diamond League meet on Saturday.
The 2004 Olympic gold-medallist has hit form as he bids to erase his injury heartbreak of 2008, and he will be backed his home crowd as he faces America’s Richardson as well as Aries Merritt, the newly crowned world indoor champion.
Liu, who was forced out of the 2008 Olympics by an Achilles injury in front of a packed Bird’s Nest Stadium, was second behind Merritt in March and cruised to victory at a World Challenge meet in Japan this month.
“I got out in a rush and wasn’t able to control my technique over the first hurdle,” Liu said after the world indoor final.
On Saturday, he can lay down an important marker against Richardson, who took gold in last year’s highly contentious world championships final in Daegu, South Korea. He finished second after he was obstructed by Olympic champion Dayron Robles, who was disqualified over the clash. Liu heads a star-studded line-up which has gathered in Shanghai for the event, nearly two months before the Olympics get underway in London.
“It will be interesting to see how everybody performs,” said Andreas Thorkildsen. The women’s 200m is shaping up as a duel between Veronica Campbell-Brown and Carmelita Jeter