Chinese hurdler Liu Xiang to have surgery in Britain


Former champion Liu Xiang will have surgery on his Achilles tendon in Britain after crashing out of his 110 hurdles heat at the London Olympics on Tuesday, Chinese officials said.

"The doctor has been chosen. He is the expert in sports medicine and has done operations on many famous players like David Beckham," Du Zhaocai, vice chairman of the Chinese Athletics Association (CAA), told state news agency Xinhua yesterday.

Liu's London Games ended when he clattered into the first hurdle of his heat, four years after he had to withdraw from the heats of the Beijing Olympics because of a tendon injury.

The 2004 Olympic champion was taken to hospital, China's athletics team leader Feng Shuyong said.

"An MRI scan proved it really was a rupture of the tendon. The Chinese delegation immediately contacted local medical organisations in order to find the best hospital and surgery doctor for Liu Xiang."

Liu, 29, earned a rousing ovation from the 80,000 crowd in the Olympic stadium as he hopped down the track to cross the finish line, kissing the last hurdle on his way before being consoled by fellow competitors.

In his absence, American Aries Merritt won the gold medal on Wednesday after 2008 champion Dayron Robles of Cuba also suffered an injury, tearing his hamstring during the final.