Hong Kong: China`s former world and Olympic champion Liu Xiang took another step in his recovery from a career-threating injury on Friday by winning the 110 metres hurdles at the East Asian Games in Hong Kong.
Liu coasted to victory against a mediocre field in a time of 13.66 seconds, well behind the 12.88 he ran to set a world record in 2006 before a torn achilles forced him to limp out of the Beijing Olympics last year.
Cuba`s Dayron Robles has since bettered the world record by one-hundreth of a second.
"My foot is good, there wasn`t much problem, but it was a little sore," the 26-year-old Liu told reporters on the track, where his every move was cheered by a sellout crowd of 3,500 people.
"It will definitely get slowly better ... though I still have to protect my body a little more."
Liu, who finished second in an IAAF Golden Grand Prix in his home city of Shanghai in September before winning gold at last month`s Asian athletics championships, said the 2012 London Olympics were one of his major goals but played down the chances of taking back the world record.
"I haven`t even thought about breaking the world record, I don`t have such hopes at all," said Liu.
"I have confidence in competing in London ... it may be my last Olympics so I`d like to have a good finish (to my career)."
Liu`s long-time coach Sun Haiping described Liu`s performance as satisfactory, adding that the hurdler was a little tired.
"The recovery isn`t bad, but he still needs time," Sun told reporters.
Next year`s schedule would depend on Liu`s progress but would likely include the World Indoor Athletics Championships in Doha in March and the Asian Games in Guangzhou, said Sun.