In the 2004 Athens Olympics, Liu Xiang became the first Chinese man to win an Olympic track and field gold medal.

However four years later, in the Beijing Olympics, Liu’s curse appeared to kick in and the athlete was forced to withdraw in his heat without clearing a single hurdle because of a problem with his right Achilles.

Liu has been hoping to make a comeback after Beijing and this morning the crowd watched in disbelief as his curse replayed itself.

As the men’s 110m hurdles heat began in the Olympic stadium today, Liu failed to clear even the first hurdle and left the field clutching his right foot.

Liu wasn’t the only athlete to suffer disappointment this morning however. Britain’s Andrew Pozzi also failed at the first hurdle due to a hamstring problem.

“The last month has been a nightmare,” Pozzi said.

“I tore my hamstring at Crystal Palace and haven’t been able to get it sorted. It’s just not gone.

“I always knew and feel so privileged to be here and that’s the first time I’ve been out of the blocks since Crystal Palace and just tried to give it a go but it hasn’t come off.”

Team GB’s Andy Turner is through, however,  after winning Liu Xiang’s heat with a time of 13.47 seconds.