Saturday, November 24, 2007

"Chinese hurdler insures legs for $13.3M"

BEIJING (AP) - Chinese Olympic hurdler Liu Xiang's legs have been insured for $13.3 million. To him, though, they're beyond valuation.

"You can't really put a concrete figure on this," Liu was quoted as saying by the Beijing News newspaper on Friday. "They're priceless," Liu said.

Liu is one of China's most celebrated sports stars, prompting Ping An of China insurance to donate coverage for his legs as part of its sponsorship of the Chinese athletics team.

That came in the run-up to next year's Beijing Summer Olympic Games, at which Liu's race is expected to be one of the most watched events at the games.

Liu won the 110-meter hurdles at the 2000 Athens Olympics, set a new world record of 12.88 seconds last year, and in August won gold at the World Athletics Championships.

Ping An, China's second largest insurer by market share, said Liu had agreed to represent the company at charity events.

"I don't care how much it is. Naturally, I hope never to collect this money and just keep on staying healthy," the 24-year-old said.     

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