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Liu says sorry to China, vows to come back

other Updated: Aug 19, 2008 11:49 IST
Liu says sorry to China

Chinese star hurdler Liu Xiang has publicly apologised for letting the nation down after he quit the Olympics due to an injury but also vowed to stage a comeback.

Liu, 25, World and Olympic champion, pulled out of the 110m hurdles qualifying heats because of a worsened tendon injury in his right foot, dashing China's only gold hope in Olympic track.

"So many people have been worried and caring about me. I feel sorry. I could do nothing but pull out of the race," Liu told Chinese state television CCTV on Monday night, which aired a partial interview with Liu on Tuesday morning.

"I didn't feel right when I was warming up before the race," said Liu. "I knew my foot would fail me. I felt painful when I was just jogging," her added.

"Two weeks ago, I ran a 12.90-something. I didn't know why things turned out this way. I wanted to hang on. But I couldn't. It was unbearable. If I had finished the race, I would have risked my tendon. I could not describe my feeling at that moment," Xinhua news agency quoted him as saying.

Liu though vowed to make a comeback and said he is a man who never easily quits.

"I am not that type of person. I never quit easily. I believe I will come back," Liu said as the Chinese media gave front-page coverage for the start athlete. Many of his fans present at the stadium were seen sobbing at the sight of a limping Liu.

Chinese athletics head coach Feng Shuyong said: "Liu was depressed."

"He was very sad about this result. If his injury hadn't been so serious, he would never, ever have quit the race," Feng told reporters in Beijing.