CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: Beijing Olympics silver medallist, 2011 World Championships runner-up, 2010 Asian Games runner-up, All-England champion twice, Commonwealth Games gold medallist.
LIN DAN 林丹
D.O.B: Oct 14, 1983
HOMETOWN: Longyan, Fujian
WORLD RANKING: 1
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: Beijing Olympics gold medallist, four-time world champion, Asian Games gold medallist (individual once and team twice), Thomas Cup (five times), Sudirman Cup (four times), All-England (five times).
Dato Lee Chong Wei 拿督李宗偉 lost to Lin Dan 林丹 yet again @ London 2012 Olympic after 4 years from Beijing 2002 Olympic.
This time he was well prepared and showed better skill and fighting spirit but yet it’s so close to get the 1st ever gold for Malaysia in Olympic.
We know you tried your best and we are proud of you! You are our hero!
Went to a LIVE SCREENING PARTY organized by Samsung to watch the Olympics Badminton Finals (Dato Lee Chong Wei 拿督李宗偉 vs Lin Dan 林丹) @ Laundry Bar, The Curve.
It’s so happening and all the crowd shouting and supporting Dato Lee Chong Wei. It’s a different way of watching Live Badminton match. The environment was so good and all the crowd cheering for Dato Lee when he scored against Lin Dan! It’s way better than watching it alone at home. You will feel as if you were physically there supporting Lee Chong Wei.
I’m supporting Malaysia! Supporting Lee Chong Wei! #teammalaysia
We are a little disappointed because it’s just a few points again to get the Gold! Even you couldn’t get gold, all the Malaysian still supporting you and please don’t put the blame on yourself.
In celebration of Dato’ Lee Chong Wei’s inspiring sportsmanship, “Samsung Malaysia Electronics” announced that it will be offering a 10% discount for the Samsung GALAXY S III on Wednesday, August 8.
The one-day promotion is limited to one unit purchase of Samsung GALAXY S III per customer and is only available at 35 Samsung Elite Partner (SEP) brand shops nationwide. For location details of Samsung Elite Partner (SEP) brand shops, please visit www.samsung.com/my
Thank you very much, Lee Chong Wei, Thank you for being such a noble and worthy opponent, and thank you for 10 years of companionship — without Lee Chong Wei’s worthiness, there will not be any Lin Dan’s worthiness; without Lee Chong Wei’s persistence and perseverance, there will not be any progression for Lin Dan. Lee Chong Wei missed his first Gold Medal, but he didn’t fail. We felt for his cries.
Now you should look forward to your weeding with our badminton legend Wong Mew Choo 黃妙珠! Congrats and happy marriage!
Gallant Chong Wei forced to settle for silver by Lin Dan
LONDON: Datuk Lee Chong Wei’s Olympics gold medal hopes have once again been dashed by China’s Lin Dan.
The Malaysian ace put up a brave fight but lost 21-15, 10-21, 19-21 to his arch nemesis in the men’s singles badminton final of the London Olympics at the Wembley Arena here on Sunday.
The first set was a close contest with neither player being able to pull ahead, with the score at 3-2, 5-5, and 9-8 before Chong Wei went into the first set breather 11-8 ahead.
The Malaysian then led 13-10, 16-11, and pulled ahead 19-13. Lin Dan, however, was not about to give in. He narrowed the score to 19-15 before Chong Wei sealed the set 21-15 in 26 minutes.
Chong Wei, however, was always on the back foot in the second set. Lin Dan was 11-7 ahead half way through the set before racing ahead 17-8 and 19-10 before winning 21-10 in 20 minutes to force the rubber.
The decider was a nail-biting affair. Both players gave it their all and the score line showed how evenly matched they were. Both were tied at 3-3, 5-5, 8-8 and 9-9 before Lin Dan went ahead 11-9 after 14 minutes.
It was again very close after that with Chong Wei clawing back to lead at 14-13 before Lin Dan drew level at 15-15.
Chong Wei then went ahead 17-16 and 19-18 before the Chinese ace drew level at 19-19. But this was as far as the Malaysian would go as Lin Dan sealed victory at 21-19 in 28 minutes.
This is the second time Chong Wei has lost to Lin Dan in the clash for the Olympics gold medal. In the men’s singles final in the 2008 Beijing Games, Chong Wei lost 12-21, 8-21 to the Chinese ace.
Chong Wei said he had tried his best against Lin Dan. “I tried really hard and to come this far after two and half months of lay-off is good. I was better than when I played in Beijing or the World Championships. But it seems that I am destined to play bridesmaid again. “I am sorry for not getting the gold for Malaysia,” he said. Lin Dan said that it was a lot harder winning this time around. “A lot of sacrifice and work has gone in the last four years. And today I have achieved it. Chong Wei is a worthy opponent and I have a lot of respect for him,” he added.
PETALING JAYA: Social networks are buzzing ahead of the showdown between Datuk Lee Chong Wei and China’s Lin Dan today.
The term Don’t Let China Win’ and #DLCW, originally meant to be a play on Chong Wei’s initials by his fans for the final went viral worldwide on Twitter trends last Friday.
“Remember Datuk Lee Chong Wei. DLCW = Don’t let China Win. Go LCW!” tweeted @andytelasai. But the term caught on with some international netizens who used the DLCW abbreviation in tweets to egg on their own countries, perhaps not even knowing about the Malaysian shuttler who inspired the term.
One Californian tweeter @ericdetrin11 posted, “C’mon USA! Don’t let China win #DLCW”.
Malaysians took to other social networking sites to express their excitement and hope that Lee will bring home the country’s first-ever Olympic gold medal. User “Technically Nazz” even compared Lee to superhero Batman in the movie The Dark Knight Rises, tweeting “Lee Chong Wei vs Lin Dan is going to be like Batman vs Bane.
“Lee Chong Wei Rises this Sunday! Join the army.”
Felicia Hung said she hoped that defending champion Lin Dan would lose so she could get free ice cream.
“Please kalah (lose) Lin Dan? I want free Baskin Robbins,” she said.
Golden Scoop Sdn Bhd, Baskin-Robbins’ Malaysian partner, had announced that Malaysians would get a free scoop of ice cream at all its 61 outlets nationwide under Media Prima Bhd’s “Impian Emas Negara” initiative, should Malaysia win a gold medal during the Games.
A businessman even posted on a Facebook fanpage dedicated to Lee, offering to sponsor his “pre-wedding and wedding photography”.
While some fans were confident that Lee would bag the gold, others were just happy that he had made it into the finals.
Szi Yong Chong said Lee did not even need to win as he was already a “hero”, while Geow Linda said:”Gold or Silver, it doesn’t matter. Do your very best (and) show the world you are the BEST!”
Another user urged Lee to think of the various rewards he would gain if he won the match.
“Come on Chong Wei, think of the gold bars,” said user Tunku Acet Wa, referring to the 12.5kg gold bar worth RM2mil offered by gold mine owner and KL Racquet Club Bhd chairman Datuk Seri Andrew Kam.
The rewards are already in place with a government guarantee of monetary prizes and the private sector offering a gold bar to the first badminton player to win a gold medal.
I believe this is also one of the motivation for Datuk Lee Chong Wei to push himself and put 100% effort in every games. Besides that, he’s getting married next year and this Olympics will be his last game before retiring.
Kuala Lumpur Rackets Club (KLRC) chief Datuk Seri Andrew Kam said he would be presenting a 12.5kg gold bar worth over RM2 million to gold medal winners, to be shared by shuttlers who won gold medals at the London Olympics.
LONDON: Datuk Lee Chong Wei has ensured that Malaysia returns home with a medal after he stormed into the final of the men’s badminton singles with a convincing 21-13, 21-14 win over China’s Chen Long at the Wembley Arena.
He will meet China’s Lin Dan on Sunday. The top Chinese shuttler easily beat South Korea’s Lee Hyun Il 21-12, 21-10 in the other semi-final.
Chong Wei won the silver medal at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 when he lost in the final to Lin Dan.
Then Chong Wei was the world number one while the Chinese at number two. This time the role is reversed with the Chinese having taken over as the number one in June.
His silver in Beijing was the only medal won by Malaysia in the 2008 Games.
With the silver medal in the bag, Chong Wei said that his aim is the gold.
“I treated tonight’s match as my last and went all out. I did not want to play for the bronze.
“My performance was a surprise to me too as I was able to stay in control and the match strategy worked well.
“I want to go for the gold medal. I have nothing to lose and I do not feel there is much pressure on me. I had promised to make the final and I have delivered.
“To the Malaysians I make this promise – I will do my very best to win that gold. Nothing else matters,” he said.
Chong Wei admitted that this was his best game in London and felt that all the hard work since coming back from an ankle injury was worth it.
“I always had the thought that my Olympic dream would be dashed at any time after the injury. But it is great to be back at my best. And even then I am only 50% of my old self.
“It does not matter who I play in the final. I want to win it. Chen Long was also under pressure to stop me and that is why his game suffered a little.
“But more importantly we knew what to do and I had worked it out with my coaches,” he said.
Chong Wei was in his element in the first set as he took control of the match from the first point. He stormed to a 6-0 lead before Chen Long took a point off him.
From then on Chong Wei build on his lead and to go 11-5 and 19-10. He allowed Chen Long to take two more points off him at 19-13.
A leaping smash by Chong Wei gave him the set point. And another Chen Long blunder at the baseline gave the Malaysian first set at 21-13 in 23 minutes.
Chong Wei used his drop shot and base line to good effect and was helped by the mistakes from Chen Long
In the second set Chong Wei again started off leading and was 6-3 when the Chinese caught up with him.
Chong Wei then reeled off three points to keep his lead and soon moved to 10-7.
From then it was a game of chase as Chong Wei was forced to work hard to keep ahead of Chen Long.
Chong Wei extended his career wining record over Chen Long to 7-4 and then never looked back as he winning 28 eight minutes in 21-14.
LONDON: Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei advances to the Olympics men’s badminton finals after beating Chen Long of China.
THERE was more relief than jubilation on Lee Chong Wei’s features as he sealed a second successive final appearance in the Olympics with an emphatic 21-13, 21-14 win over China’s Chen Long at the Wembley Arena on Friday.
Cheng Long had been expected to give Chong Wei a massive test but the Malaysian, who is now one match away from becoming the first Malaysian to win Olympic gold, was just too determined for the China player.
Chong Wei and coaches Tey Seu Bock and Rashid Sidek got their tactics right and once Chong Wei took control, as had been the plan, there was to be no looking back.
“I can’t believe how well I played as I had come into the Olympics not as prepared as I would have wanted,” said Chong Wei after winning in 51minutes.
Victory was celebrated by first dropping to his knees, followed by pumped fists and then acknowledgement of the fans – the majority of who were behind Chong Wei.
“The pressure I was under was immense and I told myself that this was the final as I didn’t want to have to pysche myself up for the third-place playoff, which would have been very difficult.”
Seu Bock said Chong Wei had controlled the match exactly the way it had been planned.
“We wanted him to vary his game between fast and slow and that caught Chen Long off guard as he couldn’t cope with Chong Wei’s variations. The final is next (most probably against Lin Dan on Sunday) and Chong Wei will prepare as he did for this match, with focus and a sense of calm,” said Seu Bock.
Rashid was as vocal as Seu Bock on the sidelines and said the focus now is on getting Chong Wei to improve on his silver medal finish in Beijing 2008.
“He is a step away and we must work hard to ensure that he goes one better. I believe he can,” said Rashid, bronze medallist at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
Arghhh Datuk Lee Chong Wei can’t fight for Malaysia @ Thomas Cup due to ankle injury
I hope Datuk Lee Chong Wei can recover from his injury and able to fight till the end for the upcoming 2012 London Olympic and fight against Lin Dan and re-affirm his World No. 1 Status! You can do it! Hope you will recover soon enough for the upcoming 2012 London Olympic! Whole Malaysians are giving you the moral support!
KUALA LUMPUR: World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei is back home, promising to bounce back stronger after his injury setback.
Yesterday, Chong Wei was still raw with emotion and continued to shed tears over the torn tendon in his right ankle, which has put his long-cherished dream of Olympic glory in jeopardy.
When Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) president Datuk Seri Nadzmi Mohd Salleh told him not to lose heart despite the enforced layoff which will shorten his preparations for the London Games, tears rolled down Chong Wei’s cheek.
His sole focus over the last four years has been on winning the elusive gold at the Olympics.
When he regained his composure, Chong Wei said he would emerge stronger from this painful experience.
Painful experience: Chong Wei looking at an X-ray image of his torn tendon.
“It’s still quite painful,” said Chong Wei, pointing to his strapped ankle while seated in a wheelchair.
“I’m really sad that I couldn’t help the team against Denmark,” he said.
Malaysia lost 2-3 after Chong Wei limped off in the first singles.
“One has to be mentally stronger when experiencing an injury like this. I know that I will have to come out of this stronger mentally as I may lose several weeks of training,” he said.
On the gravity of his injury, Chong Wei said: “I will be meeting Dr Ramlan Aziz (director-general of the National Sports Insitute) and he will look at it again.”
Chong Wei will have another Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) screening soon.
The first MRI at a hospital in Wuhan on Tuesday showed a tendon tear that would take three to four weeks to heal.
Coach Tey Seu Bock has already laid out a plan to get Chong Wei back on his feet before the London Games.
“We will wait for Dr Ramlan’s assessment on Chong Wei’s condition. We will give him enough rest. We will start training once he can walk without putting any pressure on his injured ankle,” he said.
“We will begin with upper body exercises, but rather than focusing too much on his physical condition, I will pay more attention to reviving his confidence.
“It isn’t easy for an athlete to be back quickly after such an injury. It takes a strong mind and heart. I hope to have a good six weeks with Chong Wei before the Olympics. I think that will be enough to bring him back as a strong contender at the Games.
“I’m confident that Chong Wei’s dedication and determination will see him through,” he added.
The Olympic badminton competition will begin on July 28.
Chong Wei out for three to four weeks after ankle injury
WORLD No. 1 Lee Chong Wei’s Olympic dream suffered a severe blow when he tore a tendon on his ankle during a Thomas Cup Group C tie against Denmark at the Wuhan Sports Gymnasium Centre yesterday.
The pain was excruciating and the shuttler wept unabashedly.
But it was the “pain” of not being able to help his Thomas Cup team-mates – and the possibility of not being at his best for the Olympics – that proved even more intolerable.
The 29-year-old is now expected to be out for three to four weeks, thus affecting his preparations for the London Games, which will be held from July 27-Aug 12.
Woe in Wuhan: Chong Wei grimacing in pain as a tournament medical officer attends to his injured ankle during Malaysia’s Thomas Cup Group C tie against Denmark at the Wuhan Sports Centre yesterday.
Chong Wei, the Beijing Olympics silver medallist, is seen as the strongest rival for defending champion Lin Dan of China.
In the group tie of the Finals, Chong Wei began as the heavy favourite against veteran Peter-Gade Christensen in the first singles event.
But, just four minutes into the game, Chong Wei screamed in pain after landing awkwardly while retrieving a shot at the baseline. The Malaysian clutched his right ankle and grimaced in pain.
The medical team rushed to help, after quite some time, but it was in vain. Chong Wei later got up, limped over towards Christensen, shook hands with the Dane and called it quits.
About an hour later, Chong Wei was later taken to a hospital, accompanied by coach Tey Seu Bock.
The injured Chong Wei being wheeled out and later taken to hospital.
A Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) was done and it confirmed that Chong Wei has suffered a tear on his tendon.
“The doctor said that it would take three to four weeks for the injury to heal. We are making arrangements to send Chong Wei home,” said Seu Bock.
“We will conduct another MRI back home and get a second opinion on the seriousness of his injury.”
Seu Bock, however, was glad that the injury is not as bad as the one suffered by former international Wong Choong Hann at the 2006 Thomas Cup Finals.
Choong Hann was then the team skipper when he ruptured his Achilles heel during the second singles match against Park Sung-hwan in a quarter-final tie against South Korea. The injury ruled Choong Hann out for six months.
“When I saw Chong Wei on the floor, I immediately thought about Choong Hann. I was there when Choong Hann got hurt. The first thing I checked was to see whether Chong Wei could move his toes. I was relieved when he could,” he said.
Then, Malaysia went on to beat South Korea to reach the semi-finals.
But yesterday, Chong Wei’s defeat saw Malaysia losing 2-3 to Denmark.
Horror show: Koo Kien Keat covers his face after making a mistake as Goh V Shem looks on during their second doubles match against Denmark’s Jonas Rasmussen-Joachim Fisher.
Seu Bock said that Chong Wei was very sad and down-hearted and kept asking why it had happened to him during his short stay at the hospital.
“He felt bad that he could not contribute a point for the team. He was also worried about the Olympic Games and wondered why it had happened so close to the Games. He is emotionally down,” he said.
“All he needs right now is some good rest and a time to recover from this setback. We still have time before the Olympic Games and we can help him to regain his confidence.”
Thomas Cup Results – Malaysia vs Denmark
Group A: China bt Indonesia 5-0
Group B: Japan bt Russia 5-0
Group C: Denmark bt Malaysia 3-2 (Peter-Gade Christensen bt Lee Chong Wei 1-2 rtd; Carsten Mogensen-Mathias Boe bt Tan Boon Heong-Hoon Thien How 21-17, 21-23, 21-11; Jan O Jorgensen lost to Liew Daren 15-21, 13-21; Jonas Rasmussen-Joachim Fischer Nielsen bt Koo Kien Keat-Goh V Shem 21-18, 21-15; Hans-Kristian Vittinghus bt Mohd Hafiz Hashim 21-17, 17-21, 19-21).
BEIJING (AP): Hurdler Liu Xiang‘s surprise departure from the Olympics was a blow to advertisers including Coca Cola and Nike that made the 25-year-old hurdler a star of campaigns aimed at Chinese consumers.
“His marketing value has been seriously diminished,” said Chris Renner, president for China of sports marketing agency Helios Partners.
Liu has become one of China’s most familiar faces, appearing in advertisements on TV, billboards and public buses for Coca Cola Co., Nike Inc., Chinese computer maker Lenovo Group and telephone company China Mobile Ltd.
Liu’s endorsements have made him one of China’s richest athletes, bringing in 163 million yuan (US$23.8 million) last year, according to Forbes magazine.
He ranked No. 2 on its list of China’s most powerful celebrities, behind basketball star Yao Ming.
Liu Xiang at the Olympics on Monday – AP
Nike plans to continue showing television commercials in China featuring Liu, said a company spokesman, Derek Kent.
Asked whether Liu’s advertising value had declined, Kent said, “He’s an icon here in China. He has a very bright future.”
On Monday, state TV broadcast a Nike commercial featuring Liu just hours after he pulled out of the first heat of the 110-meter hurdles due to leg pain.
It showed Liu getting into starting blocks and the company slogan, “Just Do It.” With Liu out, Nike’s advertising loses some of its punch, Renner said.
“If anybody takes a hit from it, it’s certainly Nike, simply because they’re all about performance, whereas the others are about brand image,” he said.
“Nike’s all about, you don’t win silver, you lose gold. With that attitude, it’s much tougher for them, because he was certainly the cornerstone for their program.”
Advertisers that want to expand in China’s fast-growing consumer market have spent heavily to build high-profile campaigns around its Olympians. Others include Yao, who is playing for the Chinese basketball team, and divers Guo Jingjing and Wu Minxia.
But Liu was seen as the most valuable.
Softspoken and boyish, the 25-year-old was a national hero after winning the 110-meter hurdles at Athens in 2004.
While even with Yao the Chinese basketball team was thought unlikely to take gold, Liu was expected to dominate the Beijing games by repeating his triumph.
Coach Sun Haiping, who broke down in tears at a news conference as he discussed Liu’s withdrawal, suggested the public exposure added to pressure on him.
“Whenever he goes out, he sees his own picture in the streets,” Sun said.
A Coca Cola spokeswoman, Christina Lau, said the company will continue to use Liu in marketing.
But she declined to give details of advertising plans or say whether Liu’s role would change after his injury.
Liu was one of a “Chinese dream team” of Olympians who appeared on a special edition Coca Cola can issued in China last year.
“We will continue to count on Liu Xiang as an ambassador for our company and our brand because his achievements both on and off the field will continue to inspire fans and consumers throughout China,” Lau said.
Liu was the only Chinese competitor among 11 athletes sponsored by Lenovo in its “Olympic Champions” program.
Lenovo spokesman Bob Page said Liu’s photo would appear on brochures and posters released through the autumn but he said he had no information on what would happen after that.
Nike has run full-page newspaper ads in China showing athletes who won gold medals this week, including the diver Wu.
On Tuesday, Nike published the same newspaper ad showing Liu – the first non-medalist of the series.
The company said it would appear in at least seven newspapers in Beijing, Shanghai and other cities, as well as on Web sites.
“It’s about picking yourself up when you’re down and coming back stronger,” Kent said.
BEIJING (AP): Liu Xiang, China’s great hope for track glory at the Beijing Games, said he was sorry for his dramatic withdrawal from the Olympics but that he had no choice because pain from a foot injury became unbearable.
“There’s so many people concerned about me and who support me. I feel very sorry. But there’s really nothing I could do,” a downcast, disconsolate Liu told China Central Television in an interview aired Tuesday.
A day earlier, Liu withdrew from his heat in the 110-meter hurdles, shocking and disappointing millions of Chinese who wanted to see him defend his Olympic title at home.
Liu appeared pale and tired, wearing a plain white T-shirt rather than the flashy red that has characterized the uniform of China’s athletes at the games.
A drop of perspiration clung to the corner of his left eyebrow as he spoke in a steady voice against a white background.
The official Xinhua News Agency said CCTV recorded the interview Monday night and showed parts of it Tuesday for the first time.
The 25-year-old Liu won China’s first Olympic gold medal on the track in Athens four years ago, and became a superstar to rival NBA hero Yao Ming at home and a posterboy worth millions for the Beijing Games.
His surprise withdrawal on Monday shocked China.
His coach was among those who wept openly.
China’s communist leaders sent a message of support to Liu and his team that was printed Tuesday on the front page of Chinese newspapers – a sign of recognition of the athlete’s popularity in China.
“I didn’t feel right when I was warming up before the race,” Liu said, in Xinhua’s translation of his comments.
“I knew my foot would fail me. I felt painful when I was just jogging.”
He talked about running a competitive time just two weeks ago.
“I didn’t know why things turned out this way,” he said.
“I wanted to hang on. But I couldn’t. It was unbearable. If I had finished the race, I would have risked my tendon. I could not describe my feeling at that moment.”
Speculation swirled for weeks that Liu was injured, and he trained in seclusion before he first appeared at the Bird’s Nest on Monday.
In his warmup, Liu grimaced through clenched teeth and limped gingerly after clearing two hurdles, but took to the blocks anyway for the first heat of the event for which he was the favorite.
When the starter’s gun fired, Liu launched out of the blocks but started hobbling immediately after the gun fired again to signal a false start by a different hurdler.
Rather than go back to the blocks, he headed inside the stadium.
Team doctors applied traditional Chinese medicine treatments to bring down the swelling on Liu’s Achilles tendon after he returned to the Olympic village on Monday, according to Liu’s Web site, which had no further details.
In the interview, Liu signaled he feared doing more damage to his damaged tendon, but vowed he would return to competition.
“I know I have the ability, once my foot recovered,” Liu said, according to a translation of the interview by The Associated Press.
“Now the most important thing is to heal my injury. I still have a chance next year, after all I’m still at the peak. I must be optimistic, and I shouldn’t blame everyone and everything but not myself. I will not easily give up.”
Vice President Xi Jinping, the most-senior Communist Party leader overseeing the games, sent a message to the General Administration of Sport on Monday expressing sympathy and encouragement for Liu.
Xi is widely viewed as the heir to President Hu Jintao.
The country’s leaders are paying attention to Liu’s injury, and hope he is able to quickly return to health, said the message, which was printed on the front page of the People’s Daily, the flagship newspaper of the Communist Party, as well as other papers.
“We all understand that Liu quit the race due to injury,” Xi said.
“We hope he will relax and focus on recovery. We hope that after he recovers, he will continue to train hard and struggle harder for the national glory.”
Liu’s sponsors also signaled full support for their star athlete, taking out full-page ads in English- and Chinese-language papers and running spots on television.
“Love the glory. Love the pain. Love sport even when it breaks your heart,” said part of one Nike ad, over a photo portrait of a clear-eyed, unsmiling Liu looking directly into the camera lens.
Martial arts movie star Jackie Chan also expressed his support, writing on his Web site that he had worried before the games about the tremendous pressure on Liu because “he’s China’s young hero and the hopes of the people rest on his shoulders.”
“As I watched this terrible turn of events on my television, I was tremendously shocked and saddened,” wrote Chan, the Hong Kong-born action star who is in Beijing for the games.
“My heart went out to Liu Xiang for his disappointment. I hope he will feel everyone’s love and support during this difficult time.”
Liu Xiang’s dramatic withdrawal stuns the Bird’s Nest
THE biggest roar of the Beijing Olympics froze in the throats of 91,000 people in the National Stadium yesterday when Liu Xiang, China’s main hope for athletics gold, pulled up injured and withdrew from the 110m hurdles.
Liu Xiang has shouldered massive expectations since becoming China’s first male Olympic track champion four years ago and his duel with new world record holder Dayron Robles of Cuba was expected to be one of the highlights of the Games.
But he came into the Games struggling with a long-standing Achilles injury and a hamstring strain, and felt more pain while warming up in the morning.
Sun Haiping (right), coach of Liu Xiang, cries as he leaves a news conference at the National Stadium Monday. – Reuters
When he left the blocks in the last of yesterday’s heats, which was signalled a false start, he pulled up limping.
To the intense disappointment of the crowd and millions of TV-watching Chinese, he limped away into the bowels of a stadium, which was supposed to be his to rule.
Double Olympic silver medallist Terrence Trammell of the United States also pulled up with a hamstring injury, seemingly clearing the path to gold for Robles in Thursday’s final.
Liu Xiang’s coach for 12 years, Sun Haiping, broke down and wept in an emotional news conference, which even left Chinese journalists in tears.
“The problem today is his foot, it’s not clear exactly when it began but it is six or seven-years-old. It was there before the 2004 Athens Games and it has been coming and going,” Haiping said.
“It’s the end of the Achilles tendon in his right foot. I’m afraid he won’t be able to compete before the end of the year … he can barely walk. He was in tears, he’s very depressed.”
Feng Shuyong, the head coach of the Chinese athletics team said: “Liu Xiang would not have withdrawn unless the pain was intolerable and there was no other way out.
“Until last Saturday, he was in good shape. We did all we could. I think all the Chinese people will understand this situation and will encourage him to come back to the track.”
“This morning he felt the pain intensify. Even though he felt the pain he decided to compete in the first heat.”
Liu Xiang’s stunningly anti-climatic departure left the stadium in gloom after what had been a lively morning of qualifying, which included Usain Bolt’s return to the track two days after his world record victory in the 100m to begin his bid for the cherished sprint double by easing through the opening heats of the 200m. – Reuters
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