Svoboda Beats Craddock, Liu in Dusseldorf

Czech national record holder, Petr Svoboda, edged out Kevin Craddock and former world record holder Liu Xiang 刘翔 at the PSD Bank Meeting in Dusseldorf. Despite hitting most of the hurdles, Svoboda clung to the lead. The Czech and the American actually had identical times of 7.57s, with the latter  setting a new personal best. A closer review of the photo-finish cameras awarded the race to Svoboda.

The fast-finishing Liu stopped the clock at a modest 7.60s – better than his 7.65s performance in last year’s World Indoor Championships in Doha – but a far cry from his 7.42s best set in Karlsruhe almost four years ago.

No offense to Svoboda and Craddock, but I absolutely hate it when Liu loses. Perhaps I’m accustomed to seeing my idol wallop the competition, than see him finish behind less illustrious names. But then again, Liu is still in the cusp of recovery. Liu Xiang is a hurdler who digs deep and relies on rhythm. The 60m doesn’t just provide ample space for one’s afterburners to kick in, unlike the 110m – in light of his injury.

In an IAAF interview, Liu was actually satisfied with his 2011 indoor debut (his first European race in 3 years): “Taking into account my injury problems I am happy with my performance.”

I can hardly wait when Liu squares off with David Oliver in Karlsruhe (set for today, 13 Feb 2011!). I’ll be eagerly awaiting the results!

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