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Coach orders China's Liu to win risk-free

CHINA'S former Olympic champion hurdler Liu Xiang has been ordered to put safety first by his coach in his second race after more than a year out injured.

However, Sun Haiping has also informed the 26-year-old he must win his preliminary heat at China's National Games in around 13.30 seconds.

"We have two conditions," Sun told today's Chengdu Business News. "The first is to ensure he runs injury free.

"We don't want anything unexpected to happen because he is trying to run too fast so safety first."

Sun added: "The second condition is that he come in first in a time of about 13.30 seconds."

Liu will run on Saturday to qualify for Sunday's final at Jinan's Olympic Sports Centre, where more than 50,000 tickets had been sold for each day, according to local media.

The 2004 Olympic 110 metres hurdles champion returned to competition following Achilles tendon surgery at last month's Shanghai Golden Grand Prix.

Liu, who hobbled out of the heats in tears at last year's Beijing Olympics, clocked ran a wind-assisted 13.15 seconds but was pipped at the line by American Terrence Trammell.

One of China's highest-profile athletes, Liu held the world record of 12.88 until Cuban Dayron Robles ran 12.87 in June last year before winning Olympic gold.


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