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Record-breaking night in Lausanne

China's Liu Xiang celebrates his new world record of 12.88 seconds in the men's 110m hurdles

(Keystone)

China's Liu Xiang has smashed the men's 110 metres hurdles world record by clocking 12.88 seconds at the Athletissima meeting in Lausanne on Tuesday night.

The 12,900 spectators at the super grand prix meeting in La Pontaise Stadium enjoyed a night of phenomenal high-tempo performances on the track in the men's 200m and the women's 100-metre hurdles and 800m.

An exuberant Liu completed a lap of honour in just his running shorts as his world record time was officially confirmed.

"I feel perfect. I can't believe it. Everything is a dream," Liu told reporters after his victory on the eve of his 23rd birthday.

Liu, the Olympic champion, jointly held the previous world 110m hurdles world best with Britain's Colin Jackson, who ran 12.91 seconds in 1993.

"Switzerland is my lucky place and I love the fans here," he said in reference to his first win in the Vaud city in 2002.

Liu had his first victory at a grand prix meeting in Lausanne in 2002 and broke Renaldo Nehemiah's world junior record that had stood since 1978 on the track.

Light-footed

On a night for speed, 20-year-old American Xavier Carter set a new benchmark running the second fastest 200m of all time, clocking a stunning 19.63 secs.

Carter's time had only ever been bettered by Michael Johnson's world record 19.32 secs in the Atlanta Olympics in August 1996.

All eyes are on the rising young star, who became the first athlete since Jesse Owens in the 1930s to win four titles at the US National Collegiate Athletic Association Outdoor Championships – 100m, 200m, 4 x 100m and 4 x 400m.

Former double Olympic sprint champion Marion Jones continued her renaissance winning comfortably with her second sub-11 seconds 100m in three days – 10.94secs.

Out in the field, pole vault record holder Elena Isinbayeva gave her best performance this year, improving on her 4.76-metre jump in Paris three days earlier with a jump of 4.90m.

In the women's 899m, Kenyan Janeth Jepkosgei held off a challenge from three-times world champion Maria Mutola to win in one minute 56.66secs – the best time in the world this year.

And in the women's 100m hurdles, American Michelle Perry posted a season-best time of 12.43 secs.

swissinfo with agencies

Key facts

Three athletics world records have been set in Lausanne:
Lui Xiang (China), men's 110m hurdles - 12.88 secs (2006)
Leroy Burrell (US), men's 100m - 9.85 secs (1994)
Elena Isinbayeva (Russia), women's pole vault - 4.93 m (2005).

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In brief

Athletissima took place at the Pontaise Stadium in Lausanne on Tuesday July 11.

Athletissima is ranked the fifth most-important athletics meeting, according to the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

The other major Swiss athletics meeting is the Weltklasse Zurich that takes place on August 19 as the fourth part of the IAAF Golden League.

Twelve of Athletissima's 18 events included the eight best athletes in the world.

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