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Arriving at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, Liu Xang was a contender for a medal at the 2004 Olympics, although no one expected him to win the gold.
Yet when it came to the final, Liu’s technique was near-perfect. He barely touched the sixth hurdle and cleared all the others cleanly, powering to a victory of almost three metres. And his time – 12.91 seconds – equalled the 11 –year-old world record.
That performance made Liu the first Chinese man to win an Olympic gold medal in athletics.