China's star hurdler Liu Xiang plays down competing at 2015 Worlds
Beijing, Feb 3 (IANS)
China's recuperating track and field star Liu Xiang played down his chances of competing at the 2015 IAAF World Championships in Beijing Aug 22-30 as the organisers launched the 200-day countdown of the event here Tuesday.
Liu underwent surgery in London after he limped out of the men's 110m hurdles for the second consecutive Olympics with a ruptured Achilles tendon in 2012 and is yet to return to competition following more than two years of rehabilitation.
"I really want to compete at the World Championships, especially on my home soil, but the chances for me to compete in Beijing seem to be very limited," said the 31-year-old, who was presented by the organisers as one of the seven promoting ambassadors for the tournament, reports Xinhua.
"I will try to find other ways to join the Beijing worlds."
Fans and the Chinese media have speculated that Liu will return to the track and compete at the Beijing worlds, but the former world and Olympic champion chose to stay low-profiled although he did not rule out the opportunity to run in Beijing.
"I have competed in five editions of World Championships, in 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2011 respectively. Through these competitions I have grown from a rookie hurdler into a world champion," Liu said.
"As a veteran I feel proud to see the World Championships to be held in China."
The 2015 International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships will be held in Beijing's National Stadium, known as the "Bird's Nest", which hosted the opening and closing ceremonies as well as the athletics events of the 2008 Olympic Games.