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Liu strolls to gold medal at Doha

DOHA, Qatar (AP) _ World record holder Liu Xiang took it easy and still wound up with a record as he defended his 110-meter hurdles title on the last night of track and field competition at the Asian Games.

A relaxed looking Liu clocked 13.15 seconds Tuesday, almost half a second slower than his record of 12.88 set at Lausanne this year.

With no serious competition at these games, Liu has said his aim in Doha was merely to break his Asian Games record of 13.30 set four yeas ago at Busan, South Korea. He achieved that in a canter, leaving fellow Chinese Shi Dongpeng and Japan's Masato Naito to fight out for silver and bronze.

``Before the race I planned to run slower, but after the start I saw a shadow following me,'' said Liu. ``I was scared to be defeated by him, so I picked up.''

Liu in 2004 became the first Chinese man to win an Olympic sprint event, equaling the world record in Athens.

In other athletics events, Kenyan-born James Kwalia Kurui won the men's 5,000 meters for host Qatar in 13:38.90 to top an all-Gulf state podium. Mucheru Salem Jawher of Bahrain, also originally from Kenya, took silver and Burundi-born Sultan Khamis Zaman of Qatar had bronze.

Thailand was a surprise winner in the men's 4x100-meter relay, while China won the women's race and Maryam Yusuf Jamal of Bahrain won the 1,500 meters.

Elsewhere, South Korea's Lee Hyung-taik rallied from a poor first set to beat Filipino Cecil Mamiit 7-5, 6-0 and advance to the singles tennis final, while top-seeded Li Na was dumped out of the women's semifinals by India's Sania Mirza 6-2, 6-2.

Lee will next take on third-seeded Danai Udomchoke of Thailand, who clinched a 6-0, 2-6, 6-2 victory in the semifinal against fifth-seeded Go Soeda of Japan.

Fourth-seeded Mirza will contest the women's final against China's Zheng Jie, who beat Aiko Nakamura of Japan 6-3, 6-2.

``I had seen her play before, I knew I had to attack her strong forehand,'' said Mirza. ``It was a big match, one of the better matches I've played.''

A day in the second week of the Asian Games would hardly seem complete without a doping announcement, and Iraqi bodybuilder Saad Faeaz obliged by being disqualified after 134 ampules of the performance-enhancing steroid nandrolone were found in his luggage by authorities at Doha's international airport.

Faeaz, 32, placed seventh in prejudging for the 75-kilogram class last Friday. He had been allowed to compete pending an Olympic Council of Asia investigation and did not test positive in competition. It was the fifth doping-related disqualification announced in four days at the Doha Games, but the first from an out-of-competition offense.

Iraq defeated South Korea 1-0 to advance to Friday's final and target its first Asian Games soccer gold medal in more than two decades. The Iraqi team was to meet the winner of Tuesday's other semifinal between host Qatar and defending games champion Iran.

Women's squash No. 1 Nicol David of Malaysia, who has not lost a match all year, had little difficulty in her quarterfinal against Park Eun-ok of South Korea. David needed just 19 minutes, including just five minutes in the opening set to win 9-0, 9-0, 9-4.

Athens Olympic champion Manus Boonjumnong of Thailand beat Shin Myung Hoon for the light welterweight gold medal in boxing, while Kazakhstan's Olympic middleweight titlist Bakhtiyar Artayev was upset by Elshod Rasulov of Uzbekistan.

Filipino Violito Payla upset former world champion Somjit Jongjohor in the flyweight final, Bahodirjon Sultonov won the featherweight title for Uzbekistan and Iran's Ali Mazaheri took the heavyweight gold.
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