BEIJING -- The collective letdown in China when
After Liu's withdrawal from the Beijing Games and a press conference in which Liu's personal coach,
Chinese Vice President
In the English-language
The Sichuan news Web site
China's sports television media had planned their entire week based on Liu's competitions, which were to run daily from Monday through Thursday's final round. The broadcast plans were thrown into tumult after his withdrawal. Host
Few media outlets believe that the normally gregarious Liu, who has appeared on television game shows in China and even sung karaoke, will agree to an interview this week after his devastating day at the Bird's Nest. Even before this race, Liu had been out of the media's view for months, raising questions about how serious his injuries might be and whether the State General Administration of Sport, clearly pressured to deliver a healthy Liu to the Olympics, had overreacted in sequestering Liu from the press.
In Liu's hometown of Shanghai, there was similar hand-wringing in the media ranks over their coverage plans. Shanghai Eastern Satellite TV had planned all of its Olympic coverage for the week around Liu. "We did not expect [his injury] to happen, so a lot of our initial plans have been canceled," said editor