Liu Xiang (L) of China races with Dayron Robles of Cuba in the men's 110m hurdles during the Golden Grand Prix in Shanghai. Liu crashed to defeat, fading to third behind Robles. [Photo: AFP]
China's superstar Liu Xiang was upset at home, fading to third behind Cuba's Dayron Robles in the Shanghai Golden Grand Prix Friday, while double world champion Tyson Gay was defeated by his teammate Wallace Spearmon.
The local hero, running in his first race after winning the world champion in Osaka, finished third in 13.21 seconds, with Robles winning in 13.01 and American Anwar Moore was second in 13.20.
"Robles ran well tonight," said Liu, who holds the world record of 12.88 seconds. "13.01 is a good result. Since last year, Robles has improved rapidly. But I think it is difficult for people to break my world record."
The 20-year-old Robles stormed to 12.92 seconds in the IAAF Grand Prix Finals in Stuttgart last week. It was a Central American and Carribean record and his first sub 13 seconds time. He also tied the fifth fastest time ever run in the event.
Liu said, "Even 12.90 is a difficult task to finish. If you finished at 12.90, you could also take the trophy in every event."
Liu, also the reigning Olympic champion, attributed his loss to a lack of training after returning from Osaka.
"After winning in Osaka, I rested for about two weeks. I was tired and just wanted to have a good rest. He (Robles) now is in his top form. But my form is not good tonight.
"To tell you the truth, my coach Sun Haiping and I didn't expect a good result today. A medal is good enough for me and my coach."
World 100m and 200m champion Gay blasted out of the blocks and was leading at 80m before Spearmon found another gear to edge him on the line in 9.96 seconds.
Liu Xiang (C) of China races to catch up with Dayron Robles of Cuba in the men's 110m hurdles during the Golden Grand Prix in Shanghai. Liu crashed to defeat, fading to third behind Robles. [Photo: Xinhua]
Liu Xiang (L) of China races to catch up with Dayron Robles (R) of Cuba in the men's 110m hurdles during the Golden Grand Prix in Shanghai. Liu crashed to defeat, fading to third behind Robles. [Photo: Xinhua]
Gay clocked 10.02 with Jamaica's Michael Frater third.
"I'm very excited about this performance. Last year I ran a personal best here and this year I've done the same," said an ecstatic Spearmon.
Gay said he had been resting since the world championships in Osaka last month and was not in top shape as he winds down his season.
"Wallace Spearmon ran a great race. I was just a little bit rusty," said the 25-year-old.
"I haven't done a lot of training, I've been resting and relaxing."
Asafa Powell, who set a new 100m world record of 9.74 seconds in Italy earlier this month, said ahead of the race that his manager had barred him from facing arch-rival Gay here in a rematch of their world championship final.
Instead, the Jamaican ran the 200m and blitzed the field in 20 seconds flat, just shy of his personal best. America's Rodney Martin was second and Jamaica's Christopher Williams was third.
Powell though was not happy with his race.
"I'm tired because of the jet lag, that's why I didn't get a good time today," he said.
The untouchable Jeremy Wariner cruised through his 400m race in 44.02, crossing the line more than one second head of second placed U.S. teammate Angelo Taylor with Canada's Tyler Christopher a distant third.
In the women's 100m, Jamaican world champion Veronica Campbell won in 10.90 ahead of Sanya Richards of the United States in 10.97 and fellow American Carmelita Jeter in 11.09.
Britain's 400m world champion Christine Ohuruogu easily crossed the line first in the one-lap race here in 50.57 ahead of Jamaica's Shericka Williams and Ilona Usovich of Belarus.
In the women's 100m hurdles, American double world champion Michelle Perry held off Jamaica's Vonette Dixon to win in 12.65, well outside her season's best.