Lifestyle & Belief

Olympics: Liu Xiang, China hurdler, leaves 'cold' London


China's Liu Xiang competes in the men's 110m hurdles heat at the Diamond League London Grand Prix on July 13, 2012. Liu pulled out of the final due to muscle pain.

Chinese athletics gold medal hopeful Liu Xiang has abandoned London’s “cold weather” for warmer temperatures in Germany to complete his pre-Olympics training.

Liu is among a number of Chinese athletes who have left London to escape one of the city’s wettest summers on record, according to the China Daily.

The 29-year-old hurdler relocated to Leverkusen after pulling out of the Diamond League London Grand Prix 110m hurdles final on July 13 due to muscle pain, the BBC reported.

Liu became China’s first athletics gold medalist after winning the hurdles event in 2004 in Athens.

Four years later he left fans devastated after he was forced to pull out of the Beijing Olympics due to an Achilles injury. He has been dogged by injury ever since.

"Other Chinese teams have also chosen to move their base thanks to London's cold weather, so Liu Xiang is not the only one," coach Sun Haiping said.

Agence France-Presse said Liu is among the “leading contenders” to win gold in London. His main rival will be Cuban Olympic champion and world record holder Dayron Robles.

Liu will return to London in early August ahead of the men's 110m hurdles events on August 7 and 8, Sun said.

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