20 year old Cuban Dayron Robles stole the show yesterday at the Shanghai Golden Grand Prix yesterday with an impressive 13.01 sec at the 110m hurdles event. Together with Anwar Moore of the United States, he trumped Liu Xiang who disappointed a highly expectant home crowd.
Liu’s poor performance was to be expected though. Just four weeks ago, he became the first man from China to win a gold at the world championships with a 110 meters hurdles victory. Exhausted from the stellar performance, he had cooled all talk of any home-town heroics prior to yesterday’s race:
“There are always many young athletes coming up to challenge you… I saw the video of Dayron Robles performance in Stuttgart. He really did a great job. He is in better shape than me now,”
After the race though, he said Robles may have a hard time breaking his world record of 12.88 seconds:
“Robles ran well tonight. 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.”
In the meanwhile, it looks like Allen Johnson, a veteran sprinter and Liu Xiang’s longtime rival, may retire after next year’s Olympics.