Expectation high for the final between Dayron Robles and Liu Xiang

2008-07-29 00:42:26 GMT       2008-07-29 08:42:26 (Beijing Time)       Xinhua English

HAVANA, July 28 (Xinhua) -- The possible facing between the Cuban Dayron Robles and Chinese Lu Xiang at the final of the 110 meters hurdles in the Beijing Olympic Games has generated great expectations in Cuba.

According to Cuban sports press on Monday that race will be the main event of athletics during the Olympics from Aug. 8 to 24 in Beijing.

Robles, 21 years old, 1.90 meters high and 88 kilograms in weight, is the current owner of the world record which has made him an idol for Cubans and he is also considered as a sure medal-winner in the Olympics.

Robles has had a successful season this year, with eight triumphs in nine events, including the record of 12.87 seconds he made on June 12 in the Grand Prix of Ostrava, Czech Republic.

Robles also has clocked 12.88 in Saint Denis, France; 12.91 in Stockholm, Sweden and 12.96 in Villenueve-d'Ascq, France.

All these performances confirm Robles as the main candidate to win the gold against Liu.

Liu is 25 years old and 1.88 meters high, he has all the titles of the International Federation of Athletics.

Liu is considered an icon of the Chinese sports, and four years ago he set an Olympic record of 12.91 seconds during the Olympic Games of Athens 2004.

Liu's coach Sun Haiping said that Liu has a lesion in the Achilles ankle and that his current condition isn't good.

However, Liu has some advantages: he has competed before in Olympic Games and also this time he would do in front of his people.

In the other hand, for Robles these will be his first Olympic Games and in the last months due to pressures, in two different occasions, he has stayed in the bloc thinking about a non-existing start on false.

"I know my race against Liu will be one of the greatest attractions of the Games," Robles said and he added that the man to defeat during the Games is Liu.

Other top hurdlers include the American Oliver (12.89 soconds), Terrence Trammel (13.11) and David Payne (13.25).

The Olympic final of 110 meters hurdles will be on Aug. 21 at the National Stadium of Beijing, also known as Bird Nest.

According to Cuban media most of the sights will be on these two talented figures.

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