Was Liu Xiang’s Olympic flop all a set-up?

Dongfang Weibao 23 Aug 12

The front page of the Oriental Guardian (东方卫报) today speculates on the conspiracy theories surrounding hurdler Liu Xiang’s Olympic race.

At 17:47 on 7 August, countless Chinese people collectively cried out in anguish when Liu Xiang fell on the first hurdle of his Olympic race. Yet the CCTV commentator Yang Jian did not sound at all surprised; in fact, as some Chinese web users have speculated, Yang sounded as if he anticipated that Liu would fall. As if confirming what many people were already suspecting, revelations from a CCTV Olympic report discussion forum yesterday confirmed that CCTV knew before the race the grave extent of Liu Xiang’s injury.

According to the story that leaked out from the CCTV discussion board, Yang Jian prepared a contingency version of the commentary should Liu Xiang somehow succeed in the race, but the version he expected to use – and did use – was to describe how Liu Xiang crashed out – hence him not sounding very surprised when it happened.

Many Chinese web users also believed that the entire episode, including Liu Xiang’s fall, was some kind of set-up. The dramatic fall at the first hurdle, the kissing of the hurdle, the forlorn hopping along the track – it all seemed like a staged event.

Yet despite all these critical views, Oriental Guardian cautions its readers not to demonize Liu Xiang. He in all likelihood took a great risk in still deciding to run the race, betting with great odds against his injury that he might still somehow be able to make it to the finishing line. Its unfortunately a bet that he lost big time.


Links and sources
Oriental Guardian (央视赛前就知道刘翔伤重杨健含泪解说是设计好的)
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