Dominic Fitzsimmons
Aug 18, 2008

Liu Xiang injury rocks sponsors

BEIJING - An injury to China's biggest athletics star, Liu Xiang has halted his defence of the 110m hurdles Olympic title before it even started, leaving a large roster of sponsors without their day in the sun.

The Athens 2004 hurdles champion hurt his Achilles tendon during a false start by another athlete, pulling up after just a few metres and hobbling from the track in front of a capacity crowd stunned into silence.

As the Games face of Nike, Coca-Cola, Visa, China Mobile and Yili, Liu earned a reported 163.2 million yuan US$23.9 million in 2007, propelling him to third on Forbes’ Famous Chinese People list. However, his failure on the...

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