Olympic champion hurdler Dayron Robles is setting his sights on what could be a showdown against former Olympic gold medalist Liu Xiang in March at the world indoor championships in Doha, Qatar.

Robles failed to reach the final of the 110-metre hurdles in the world championships in Berlin three months ago, pulling up injured after hitting the first three hurdles in his semifinal heat.

Robles’ coach Santiago Antunez said on Thursday the Cuban had fully recovered from the injury and was expected to compete in his first indoor meet on Feb. 6 in Stuttgart, Germany.

“I don’t obsess about what happened in Berlin,” Robles said on Thursday.

Robles holds the world record of 12.87 seconds, and wants to break the 60-metre indoor mark of 7.30 held by Briton Colin Jackson. Robles has run 7.33.

“Dayron is training flat out,” Antunez said. “He has no pain and everything is going according to plan.”

Robles has said the return of Liu “will make 110-metre hurdles more tasty, put salsa on it.”

Liu, the 2004 Olympic champ, is trying to return from a foot injury that forced him out of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Liu was expected to run on Friday in the East Asian Games in Hong Kong, the latest in a string of key tests.

At the Shanghai Golden Grand Prix in September he ran 13.15, good for second in a photo finish behind American Terrence Trammell. In October he clocked 13.34 in China’s National Games, and last month he won the Asian Championships in 13.50.

The times are well off his career best of 12.88, which was a world record in 2005 until it was surpassed by Robles last year.


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