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September 3, 2009

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Home » Sports » Athletics

Liu still a doubt but Powell, Gay skip Shanghai meeting

CHINA'S Liu Xiang could still make his return to competition at the Shanghai Golden Grand Prix in his home city later this month, organizers said, as they announced the list of overseas entrants for the September 20 event yesterday while delaying naming the national participants.
Besides the two recent world record breakers, Russian pole vault queen Yelena Isinbayeva and Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, seven champions and eight runners-up from the just-concluded Berlin world championships and eight Olympic champions from last year's Beijing Games are on the list.
However, 100 and 200 meters Olympic and world champion Bolt will hardly have any competition at the 56,000-seater Shanghai Stadium as compatriot Asafa Powell and American Tyson Gay, are missing.
Defending and Olympic champion Veronica Campbell-Brown of Jamaica will compete in the 100, while American world champion Allyson Felix will go for the 200 crown. Defending champion Jeremy Wariner of the US will be targeting the 400 gold again.
Matchups between 2009 world champions and 2008 Olympic champions will be staged as Mbulaeni Mulaudzi of South Africa (world) faces Wilfred Bungei of Kenya (Olympic) in the men's 800 while Yusuf Saad Kamel of Bahrain (world) takes on Asbel Kiprop of Kenya (Olympic) in the 1,500.
Liu, the 26-year-old former 110 hurdles world and Olympic champion, has not raced since hobbling out of his first heat at the Beijing Olympics last August but returned to training in spikes in July.
"We are still waiting for his coach's decision," organizers said. "Even if he cannot run he will attend other promotional events."
Coach Sun Haiping said Liu was targeting next month's National Games as a warm-up for November's Asian championships. If Liu does make his appearance, he would be up against familiar faces in Americans Terrence Trammell, runner-up behind the Chinese at the 2004 Athens Olympics and 2007 worlds, and defending champion David Oliver, who won bronze in Beijing.


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