Nightmare for China's Xiang AGAIN as hurdler falls in heat allowing GB's Turner to edge it
10:54 GMT, 7 August 2012
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China's Liu Xiang has failed to finish a race in his second consecutive Olympics, after he fell over the first hurlde in the 110 metres event.
Xiang limped out at the starting line in front of his home crowd four years ago in Beijing with an Achilles problem, and the heat favourite fell hard at the first obstacle in the race.
The Chinese sprinter wasn't the only one to struggle in heat six of the first qualifying round of the men's 110m.
Crash and burn: Liu Xiang (left) fell at the first hurdle and injured himself in the 110m hurdles heat
In fact four competitors out of the eight failed to finish the race. Three fell over and one was disqualified amidst the carnage.
Xiang's absence allowed British hopeful Andy Turner to cruise to victory in the heat after a solid run left him some way ahead of his opponents – although there were only three of them by the end.
Another Team GB hopeful struggled in the earlier heats on Tuesday. Andy Pozzi looked devastated when he pulled up after a few metres with what appeared to be a hamstring complaint.
Pozzi's Olympic 100m hurdles debut lasted barely 20m as he pulled up before the second hurdle before trudging disconsolately off the track.
The 20-year-old tore a hamstring at last month's Diamond League meeting at Crystal Palace and has been unable to recover in time.
Injured: Xiang was helped off the track and then into a wheelchair
Not the only one: Xiang (centre) awaits help from two other fallen athletes in the heat
Pozzi said: 'It just went coming out the blocks. It's the first time I've been full speed out of the blocks since Crystal Palace when it happened.
'I thought I could maybe manage it, but going over hurdle two it just completely wiped out and that was me (done).
'It's just so disappointing. I've run I think 12 'A' standards, I've been fit for so many races and I have been running well and it's all been centred around this. So to come here and for that to happen is heartbreaking.'
Andy Turner won the heat and then helped Xiang off the track
His training partner Lawrence Clarke made it through, finishing second in 13.42s.
'I am so relieved,' he said. 'I have dreamt of this moment all season, for the last four years. I was determined not to come to the start line and make a hash of it.'
Turner on the other hand was delighted with his run. He won his 110m heat in 13.42, but there was a major upset as China's former Olympic champion, Xiang, fell at the first hurdle.
He injured his right leg and limped away from the track, Turner one of those to help him away.
Dejected: Andy Pozzi looked devastated as he pulled up just 20 metres into his heat
Turner, who has struggled with injury this season and is the third ranked of the Britons, told BBC1: “I felt relatively easy.
'I've not had the best year. I've been struggling for form all year.
'I've been training okay but doing it in a race is different.
'Now I've got that out of the way I think there is a lot more to come.
'I've got to run a lot quicker than that to make the final and I can't wait for it.'