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Liu plans home-turf comeback

STAR Chinese hurdler Liu Xiang - who had to pull out of the 2008 Beijing Olympics with a damaged Achilles tendon - plans to return to the track in his home city at the Shanghai Golden Grand Prix in September, the event's organizer said yesterday.

Liu, who took gold at the 2004 Athens Olympics and is a former world champion and former world record holder in the men's 110-meter hurdles, won the first two Shanghai Golden GPs in 2005 and 2006. He finished third in 2007 and did not take part in the 2008 race due to his injury.

He underwent an operation to repair his heel damage late last year in Houston, Texas.

"Liu Xiang will make the Shanghai Golden GP his international debut following the injury if he is fit enough for the race," said Gu Shuhang, the race organizer's manager.

New meets on tap

"We will also keep an eye on the athletes' performance before sending out invitations to the SHGGP, to see if there are any rising stars whose participation will make the last Golden GP in Shanghai more of an attraction."

The event, on September 20, is in the final year of a five-year agreement.

The sponsoring organization, the International Association of Athletics Federations, recently announced that a new series of meets, called the IAAF Diamond League, is scheduled to start in 2010.

The Diamond League will be composed of 15 meets, compared with the Golden League's six.

Twelve cities from around the world have signed contracts for the new league, and three others are on standby, including Shanghai.

The 2009 Shanghai Golden Grand Prix will feature 16 track-and-field events, eight for males and eight for females.

In addition, the SHGGP, in cooperation with the Shanghai Charity Foundation, will co-sponsor the AstraZeneca-CIIC Charity Run 2009 on May 16 at Century Park in Pudong.

Runners can register at the SHGGP Website ( and perhaps win tickets to the September event.


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