28/01/2017

Olympic hurdler Xie Wenjun headlines Team China at Nitro

BEIJING, CHINA - AUGUST 27:  Wenjun Xie of China reacts after competing in the Men's 110 metres hurdles semi-final during day six of the 15th IAAF World Athletics Championships Beijing 2015 at Beijing National Stadium on August 27, 2015 in Beijing, China.  (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images for IAAF)

China has significant history in the men’s sprint hurdles event at the elite level and their team competing at Nitro Athletics next month in Melbourne will be headlined by Olympic speedster Xie Wenjun.

Up against five other teams including the Bolt All-Stars he will be a key figure for the Chinese team in the traditional hurdles races and the highly-anticipated hurdles relays.

The 26-year-old boasts a world-class personal best of 13.23 seconds, which gave him his maiden Diamond League victory in Shanghai two seasons ago.

Not long ago his compatriot Liu Xiang ruled the 110m hurdles event, winning Olympic gold in Athens and also holding the world record at 12.88 as one of only 20 men to ever break 13 seconds.

China also has a strong connection to the headline act of Nitro Athletics in Usain Bolt, the place where he completed his first Olympic treble in 2008 breaking three world records in the Bird’s Nest.

Wenjun competed at the Rio Olympics but could not back up his performance at the London Games in 2012 where he made the semifinals and missed the final by just .11 with a then personal best run of 13.34 seconds.

He was also a semi-finalist at the 2015 world championships in Beijing in the same year he won gold at the Wuhan Asian championships.

The hurdler will be joined by fellow Rio Olympian, pole vaulter Xue Changrui, who is also an Asian Championships gold medallist.

In Brazil he made the final and placed sixth, significantly better than his 12th at the Moscow world championships in 2013.

With a personal best of 5.80 metres, Changrui will be hoping to be near the top of the leader board at Lakeside Stadium in a modified pole vault event that will see athletes strategically select pre-determined heights.

Javelin thrower Liu Shiying is the leading female performer on the Chinese team after a successful season competing at the Rio Olympics and setting a personal best of 65.64 metres.

She also won silver at the World Junior Championships in Barcelona in 2012 and was an Asian Championships winner in 2015.

Team China also includes three other national champions in Guo Zhongze, Ma Junyi and Xu Pengcheng who will be raring to go when they get to compete against five other teams at Nitro Athletics including the Bolt All-Stars.