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Liu back in spikes but no quick return to track

LIU Xiang's return from the Achilles injury that destroyed his Beijing Olympic dream moved another step closer when he started training in spikes yesterday.

Liu, who celebrated his 26th birthday on Monday, has already written off defending his 110 meters hurdles world title in Berlin next month but aims to return to international competition at the Asian championships later this year, local media reported.

"From this Wednesday, Liu will run with spiked shoes," his coach Sun Haiping told the Oriental Sports Daily.

"But it doesn't mean he is completely recovered. We can't be in such a hurry at present and we won't put a large training burden on him."

The 2004 Athens Olympic champion and former world record holder had an operation on the injury in the US last December and Chinese fans have anxiously been awaiting the return to competition of their top track and field athlete.

"Liu will take part in the National Games in October and it will be a warm-up for the Asian Championships in November," Sun added on the website.

The 11th China National Games will take place in Jinan, Shandong Province, from October 11-23, while the Asian championships are in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, from November 10-14.


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