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Ron Judd's Olympics Insider

Ron Judd, an Olympics junkie and Seattle Times columnist who has covered Olympic sports since 1997, will use this space to serve up news and opinion on the Summer and Winter Games -- also inviting you to chime in on Planet Earth's biggest get-together.

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August 17, 2008 8:56 PM

Chinese hurdle star Liu Xiang out of Olympics with injury

Posted by Ron Judd

Defending 110 hurdles Olympic champion Liu Xiang, slated to be the hometown star of the Beijing Games, pulled up lame with an injured Achilles tendon in today's preliminary heats.

Liu, lining up for his first sprint, pulled up limping badly after a false start in what was to be his initial heat. He pulled off his race number in disgust and walked off the track. He was last seen icing his Achilles under the Bird's Nest Stadium. Liu's health had been the subject of some scrutiny for months. He pulled out of two widely heralded races in the U.S., including the Prefontaine Classic. He had been training in seclusion in China for weeks.

NBC broke into its East Coast programming with the news just before midnight; CBC showed his preliminary heat about a half hour later.

It will be a major blight on the Olympics for China, where a topsports official was quoted as saying Liu's previous accomplishments -- the world record and a gold medal in Athens -- would be meaningless if he failed to capture the gold medal in his home country.

More on Liu from our Beijing preview section here.

Meantime, in another prelim heat, America's Terrence Trammell -- expected to be a threat to Liu in the 100 hurdles -- pulls up lame himself, grabbing his left hamstring.

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Blogroll and links

www.olympic.org: The official International Olympic Committtee site, with news releases, a searchable Olympic medals database and other archival information.
www.nbcolympics.com: Olympic news site from one of the Games' primary sponsors.
NBC Olympics columnist Alan Abrahamson's column/blog
Chicago Tribune Olympic sports writer Philip Hersh's blog
www.usolympicteam.com: U.S. Olympic Committee's athlete web site.
www.aroundtherings.com: Ed and Sheila Hula's Olympic News Service (subscription).
www.wcsn.com: News service with audio, video and text coverage of Olympic sports, during and between Olympics. Free, but charges for live video feed subscriptions.
www.beijing2008.com: Beijing Organizing Committee Web site.
www.vancouver2010.com: Vancouver Organizing Committee's 2010 Winter Games site.
www.london2012.com: London 2012 Summer Games site.
www.sochi2014.com: Sochi, Russia's 2014 Winter Games site.
www.chicago2016.org: Candidate city Chicago's summer 2016 bid committee site.
Olympic swimmer Tara Kirk's highly entertaining WCSN blog
Bellevue Olympian Scott Macartney's WCSN alpine ski-racing blog
Other WCSN Olympic athlete blogs.