Chinese athlete leaves 'cold' London for Germany

China's Liu Xiang competes in the men's 110m hurdles round 1 heat 1 at the 2012 Diamond League athletics meet at Crystal Palace in London on July 13. England's miserable summer weather has prompted Chinese athletics star Liu Xiang to leave London and complete his pre-Olympics training in Germany

England's miserable summer weather has prompted Chinese athletics star Liu Xiang to leave London and complete his pre-Olympics training in Germany, the China Daily said Tuesday.

Coach Sun Haiping said hurdler Liu, who won a gold medal at the Athens Olympics in 2004 but had to pull out of the Beijing Games, was among a number of athletes who had left London because of the wet weather in the British capital.

"Other Chinese teams have also chosen to move their base thanks to London's cold weather, so Liu Xiang is not the only one," the paper's website quoted Sun as saying.

Liu, 29, left fans devastated when he pulled out of the Beijing Games because of an Achilles injury and has continued to struggle with injury ever since.

Nonetheless, he is among the leading contenders to win gold at the London Games, where his main rival will be Cuban Olympic champion and world record holder Dayron Robles.

London has suffered one of its wettest summers on record in the run-up to the Olympics, and weather forecasters are predicting at least some downpours during the event.