March 10, 2008 / 1:00 PM / in 10 years

Athlete keeps cool during anthem mix-up

VALENCIA, Spain (Reuters) - China’s Liu Xiang received the gold medal for the 60 meter hurdles on two occasions Sunday after a mix-up over the national anthem.

<p>China's Liu Xiang poses with his gold medal after winning the men's 60 metres hurdles at the 12th IAAF World Indoor Athletics Championship in Valencia March 9, 2008. REUTERS/Heino Kalis</p>

A bemused Liu was the model of stoicism in the initial ceremony as organizers inadvertently played Chile’s national anthem instead of the Chinese.

But he then shook his head as he explained to fellow medalists Allen Johnson and Evgeniy Borisov and organizers what had happened.

An altogether happier Liu took to the podium for a second time 10 minutes later to pick up his gold once again, on this occasion accompanied by the correct anthem.

Reporting by Simon Baskett

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