LONDON, Feb. 18 (Xinhua) -- China's Liu Xiang started his new season and Olympic year by beating arch rival Dayron Robles of Cuba in his personal best time of 7.41 seconds to win the men's 60m hurdle final at the Birmingham indoor tournament on Saturday.
Liu, the Athens Olympic champion, crossed the line first and improved his former best mark by 0.01 seconds.
Robles followed in 7.50 and Dexter Faulk of the United States stood third in 7.54.
The 28-year-old Chinese then renewed his advantageous head-to- head records against Robles by increasing to eight wins out of their 13 meetings.
Liu's coach Sun Haipin told Xinhua that if Liu could run into 7. 50 in the indoor event, then the former record marker could also race into 13.00 seconds in the 110m event at the outdoor tournament, including the Olympics.
Therefore, Saturday's victory shows that Liu has moved closer to the world's leading results and also his best 12.88 seconds.
Robles is the current world record holder with 12.87 and also was the defending Olympic champion in the summer's London Games after Liu's shock quit four years ago in Beijing due to injuries.
It was the pair's first meeting since the world championships in Daegu last summer, where Liu took silver after Robles was disqualified for disrupting him despite finishing the race in first place.