LIU'S SURGERY

The Associated Press
A man picks copies of a newspaper at a newsstand, where Chinese hurdler Liu Xiang's photos are seen on local papers' front pages, in central Beijing Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012. Many Chinese following the Olympics at home called Liu Xiang their hero after the former world-record holder and 2004 Olympic champion crashed into the first hurdle during his first heat of the 110-meter hurdles on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan)

We knew something was up when we walked by Lord's Cricket Ground, where we were looking to snap a few pictures, and saw close to a hundred Chinese media huddled on the sidewalk.

A sudden interest in cricket? Nope. Just across the street from Lord's is Wellington Hospital, and there was a famous patient inside. Hurdler Liu Xiang, the gold medalist at the 2004 Athens Games, was undergoing surgery for a torn Achilles tendon in his right foot.

One reporter told us he had been camped out for at least four hours, and some media had been there twice that long. Turns out, the surgery took just a little over an hour, according to Chinese reports. Liu will remain in the London hospital for several days before returning home to Shanghai.

And those Lord's pictures?

We had to settle for snapping the signs outside the stadium, which was used during the Olympics for archery. Since that competition is over, the security guards wouldn't let us inside. Come back next week, they said, when a more familiar sport returns to the "Home of Cricket."

— Paul Newberry — Twitter http://twitter.com/pnewberry1963 and Beth Harris — Twitter http://twitter.com/bethharrisap

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