Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Liu Xiang qualifies for Asian Games without Qualifier Tournament

SHANGHAI, CHINA - SEPTEMBER 20:  Liu Xiang of ...Image by Getty Images via @daylife
New official athletic rules mean that the well-known Chinese hurdler, Liu Xiang, has qualified for the Asian Games without actually taking part in a race for more than half a year and thus without taking part in a Qualifier Tournament.

The Chinese Athletics Association announced on July 27 that, in order to qualify for this year’s Asian Games, athletes must rank among the Top 6 athletes at both the Olympic Games in 2008 and the 2009 World Athletics Championships.
The old regulations required athletes to be in the top 3 at the 2009 World Athletic Championships to be exempted from qualifications.
But the public is divided following the announcement of Liu’s inclusion in the team, with some saying that they think the Chinese Athletics Association has not shown impartiality in his case, and that this unfair to other athletes.
However, one of Liu’s teammates said, "We are not surprised because we still recognizes Liu's strength, and he is now in a recovery phase. Also, if he were not included in the team for the Asian Games, the public would question why he did not qualify. "
Feng Shuyong of the China Athletics Administrative Center said on Tuesday that the new rules for qualification for the Asian Games were not implemented especially for Liu, but in order to ensure the country's best athletes will compete in the event. “Do not relate everything to Liu Xiang." Feng added.
The National Athletics Championships, the qualifying tournament for the Asian Games, is set to take place between August 5 and August 8 in Jinan, Shandong Province.
According to the original selection approach, Liu Xiang would have had to take part in this event to qualify for the Asian Games.

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