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Hurdler Liu Xiang is third on European return

2011-02-12 02:15:30 GMT2011-02-12 10:15:30(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

Liu Xiang of China and Petr Svoboda (R) of the Czech Republic compete the men's 60m hurdles final at the International Athletics meet in Duesseldorf Feb 11, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]

Liu Xiang of China competes in the men's 60m hurdles first heat at an International Athletics meeting in Duesseldorf Feb 11, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]

Liu Xiang of China reacts after the men's 60m hurdles final at the International Athletics meet in Duesseldorf Feb 11, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]

Liu Xiang of China competes the men's 60m hurdles final at the International Athletics meet in Duesseldorf Feb 11, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]

DUSSELDORF, Germany - China's former Olympic champion and world 110m hurdles record holder Liu Xiang raced into third in the 60m hurdles on Friday at the Dusseldorf indoor meet, his first European appearance in three years.

Liu finished behind Petr Svoboda of the Czech Republic and America's Kevin Craddock who were both clocked at 7.57 seconds.

The 27-year-old Chinese hurdler timed 7.60 seconds, 0.18 off his personal best of 7.42 seconds set in February 2007.

Earlier in the evening, Liu was second in his heat in a time of 7.66 seconds.

Liu, who will also run at the Karlsruhe event on Sunday, last appeared in Europe in March 2008 when he clinched the world indoor title in Valencia.

But since that victory, his career has been marred by injuries, notably pulling out of the Beijing Olympics in 2008 just a year after being crowned world champion.

American Kellie Wells won the women's 60m hurdles in 7.89 seconds. In her qualifying heat she ran 7.84, a world's best this year.

Kim Collins of Saint Kitts and Nevis beat his personal best, set eight years before in Birmingham, by one hundredth of a second to claim the men's 60m sprint in 6.52.

Ukrainian Olesja Powh won the women's event in 7.13.

Nixon Chepseba overtook Kenyan compatriot Augustine Chog on the line to snatch victory in the 1,500 meters by one hundredth of a second in a season's best time of 3:34.63.

Kenya's Paul Kipsiele Koech won the 5,000 meters with the fourth-fastest indoor time of 12 minutes, 53.29 seconds.

German pole vaulter Malte Mohr continued his good form to produce another personal best of 5.85 meters to claim the men's event.

Katja Demut beat the German record in the women's triple jump with a personal best 14.47 meters.

World championship bronze medalist Ralf Bartels won the shot put. The 32-year-old German beat American Ryan Whiting with a throw of 20.91 meters.

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