BIRMINGHAM, England -- Liu Xiang beat Dayron Robles in a resumption of their hurdling rivalry before the London Olympics, and Lerone Clarke upstaged Jamaican rival Asafa Powell in the 60-meter sprint at the Birmingham Grand Prix on Saturday.
Liu ran a flawless 60-meter hurdles final in 7.41 seconds, with the Chinese star almost a tenth of a second ahead of world record-holder Robles in their first meeting since at last year's world championships.
"I am especially happy to get a national as well as Asian record," Liu said. "I still feel though that over the first two hurdles I didn't do very well and that there is work to be done there. I am excited about the rest of the year now."
In South Korea in August, Robles finished first over 110 meters but was disqualified for impeding Liu, who ended up winning a silver medal after being on course for gold. Now they are gearing up for the Olympic showdown that was denied in 2008 when Liu limped off the starting line in Beijing and Robles took his Olympic title.
"The main task is to keep healthy and try to get in step before the Olympics," Liu said.
Jamaica will be based in Birmingham before the Olympics, and Clarke led a Jamaican 1-2-3 sweep in the central English city by winning in 6.47 seconds.
"I knew that all I had to do was get out of the blocks and drive hard," Clarke said. "Get up and run home and it didn't matter who was out front, just focus on me."