|(Update) Agony as Liu's dream is dashed
China's Liu Xiang failed to advance from the heats in the 110-meter hurdles after falling at the first hurdle.
Liu hit the first hurdle with his lead leg and tumbled to the track.
He had been bothered by back and foot problems in the past month. Liu stepped off the track before hopping down the track to be embraced by his fellow competitors, AFP reports.
He was helped off the track by Britain's Andy Turner and Spain's Jackson Quinonez.
Fellow competitor Balazs Baji of Hungary had waited for Liu at the finish line, taking the Chinese star's hand in his.
"When I was a kid I saw him breaking a world record, winning the Olympic Games in Athens so he's a great idol for me. I'm sorry that he fell. It must be really bad for him,'' he said. "Since he fell I'm just sorry for him.''
The 2004 Olympic champion and former world record holder withdrew from the same stage of the Beijing Games four years ago.