Liu Xiang’s (刘翔) Comeback

Being a hardcore Liu Xiang (刘翔) fan, I must admit that it kills me to see my idol struggle. Although Liu remains his ever-cheerful self, its disconcerting to hear him say that he’s quite content with just landing a slot in the 2010 Doha World Indoor Championships or clocking a poor 13.40s to finish behind David Oliver and Shi Dong Peng 史冬鹏.

A column from Universal Sports (which is a fine source of US-oriented track & field stuff, by the way) highlights Liu’s “injury and low confidence-induced rut.” When asked about his chances for London 2012, Liu replied: “The London Olympics is too far for me. I must start from the very beginning. I am not sure about myself now.”

But then again, one has to be an athlete himself to understand where Liu Xiang is coming from. Allen Johnson’s remarks on the prospect of Liu’s recovery is enlightening: “I don’t see why not. It’s still two years away… (Liu’s problems) will pass in time, it’s just a matter of working through.”

It turns out that Johnson himself went under the knife for that same Achilles injury. Being a fixture in sprint hurdling (and being Liu’s idol), Johnson’s words come with so much wisdom.

In a sense, there is wisdom in Liu Xiang’s mindset. He’s at a stage wherein recovery is painfully slow; overexertion is a clear and present danger. Hence, having a pressure-free perspective about competing could indeed facilitate a seamless transition from recovery to top-notch performance. It’s clear that Liu does not intend to raise the bar too high, that the former World, World Indoor and Olympic Champion does not want to set too high a summit only to see himself fail in the enterprise.

Liu vs. Johnson back in 2004

Liu Xiang with his idol

Photo credits:


One response to “Liu Xiang’s (刘翔) Comeback

  1. Pingback: Liu Xiang (刘翔) vs. Colin Jackson « hurdler49: Hurdling the Real World.

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