Liu lined up for Shanghai

BEIJING - Chinese hurdler Liu Xiang is not returning to competition in Sunday's Shanghai Golden Grand Prix to help ticket sales after the withdrawal of Usain Bolt, according to his coach.

BEIJING - Chinese hurdler Liu Xiang is not returning to competition in Sunday's Shanghai Golden Grand Prix to help ticket sales after the withdrawal of Usain Bolt, according to his coach.

Liu's much-anticipated return after 13 months out injured was announced by organisers just 24 hours after triple Olympic and world sprint champion Bolt said he would not be running because he was fatigued after a long season.

"I don't think Liu is being forced to run because of Bolt's absence," the 26-year-old's mentor Sun Haiping told China Youth Daily. "There is no such so-called 'saving the box office'.

"Liu has just recovered enough for competition."

Former Olympic and world 110m hurdles champion Liu is a native of Shanghai and his presence will certainly be a boost to organisers, who have 56000 tickets to sell.

Liu's appearance will be his first since his dramatic departure from the Bird's Nest Stadium in Beijing on August 18 last year after an Achilles injury prevented him from starting his Olympic title defence.

Bolt has also pulled out of the Daegu meeting in South Korea on September 25 for the same reason.

Bolt brought the curtain down on another record-breaking season in Greece on Sunday when he cruised to victory in the 200m at the World Athletics final. - Reuters and Sapa-AFP

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