Alexa

With Yao Ming out, China vigilant over injuries to other Olympic stars

With Yao Ming out, China vigilant over injuries to other Olympic stars

With Yao Ming out of the NBA season, China's athletic officials are working hard to keep other Olympic stars healthy.
A foot injury injury to Houston Rockets center Yao has posed the once-unthinkable prospect of China's highest profile athlete missing this August's Beijing Games, depriving the Chinese organizers of their best known and most charismatic star.
While doctors say Yao may be healed by then, top Olympic officials said they were reviewing measures to prevent injuries to other top athletes. Hurdler Liu Xiang, the Olympic and world champion, and world record-holder, was receiving special attention.
"Yao's injury was caused by longtime fatigue. The same problems can occur in track and field due to over-training over improper arrangement of the practice," Feng Shuyong, head coach of China's national athletics team, was quoted as saying in newspapers Friday.
"We will try to give a proper workload to the athletes and do the best we can to avoid any injury," Feng said.
After Yao, Liu is probably China's best-known international sportsman, famed at home for being the first Chinese to win an Olympic sprint event in the 110-meter hurdles.
Like Yao, Liu has grown rich off commercial endorsements, making his physical condition a matter of prime concern for both fans, sports officials and international business.
Liu, currently in winter training at Beijing, is attended to by two doctors and an American specialist, Feng said.
Altogether, the Chinese athletics team has more than 30 doctors, with other top athletes such as women's hammer toss champion Zhang Wenxiu also entitled to their own physicians, he added.
Liu's coach Sun Haiping told the China Sports Daily newspaper that Liu was in prime condition and eager to get the season under way at the World Indoor Championships in Valencia, Spain, from March 7-9. Sun said Liu's primary competition will come from Cuba's Dayron Robles, likely also to be his biggest rival at the Beijing Games.
Yao's injury was front-page news across China, drawing shock and concern from fans, athletes and state-controlled media.
While a course of treatment was yet to be determined, doctors say he won't be ready to play until July _ nail-bitingly close to the Aug. 8 start of the Games.
The 2.26-meter (7-foot-6) Yao, who was averaging 22 points and 10.8 rebounds per game this season, was ruled out for the season on Tuesday with a stress fracture in his left foot, a stunning blow to the surging Rockets.
In a joint statement faxed to media, the China Olympic Committee and the State Sports General Administration wished Yao a rapid recovery and said they were willing to provide any assistance necessary.
"As to whether or not we will see Yao Ming in Olympic competition, that will be determined by the objective conditions of his recovery," the statement said.


Updated : 2021-02-27 14:06 GMT+08:00