Liu eyes World Indoor Champs

BEIJING - China's former Olympic 110m hurdles champion Liu Xiang is set to compete in the World Indoor Championships later this month, but will first do battle with his nation's parliament.

BEIJING - China's former Olympic 110m hurdles champion Liu Xiang is set to compete in the World Indoor Championships later this month, but will first do battle with his nation's parliament.

The 2004 Olympic champion, who is making his comeback from Achilles tendon surgery, is slated to face reigning Olympic champ Dayron Robles of Cuba in the 60m hurdles at the World Indoor Championships in Doha from March 12 to 14.

It will be Liu's second top-level meet since his injury.

He finished second to US world No 2 Terrence Trammell in the 110m hurdles at the Shanghai Grand Prix in September, clocking the world's eighth fastest time in 2009.

But first Liu will put a proposal before lawmakers at China's annual parliamentary session calling for better working conditions and social security benefits for the nation's coaches, the Beijing News reported.

The hurdler was first chosen as a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, an advisory body to the ruling Communist Party, in 2007 due to his athletic success. At the 2004 Athens Games, Liu became the first Chinese man ever to win Olympics track gold.

He greatly disappointed fans when he pulled out lame in a preliminary heat at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, but has slowly returned to form after surgery in the US.

In a Chinese team competition in Shanghai last week, Liu posted a time of 8,05 seconds in the 60m hurdles, well off the world record of 7,3 seconds, the Beijing News said. - Sapa-AFP

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