Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
The proctor raised the starting pistol above his head and said, "On your mark. Set..."
The seven participants were ready to begin. As soon as they heard the shot of the starting pistol, the athletes darted off .
"They are look the same!" somebody shouted out with surprise. All the athletes jumped the first hurdle at the same time.
In men’s 110m hurdles there were 10 hurdles. The first hurdle was 13.72 meters away from the starting line. Because it was such a short distance, it was difficult for athletes to widen the gap. To the audience, the hurdlers’ movements were synchronous.
"Lin didn’t fall behind after the first hurdle? Impressive! But it’s just the beginning, he won’t last long." A lot of people were thinking the same thing. It was easy to jump over the first hurdle with a 13.72-meters running start.
The crucial moment came at the following nine hurdles. There was a 9.14 meter gap between each one, which was only two steps from the next hurdle.
From the second hurdle on, it was time for the athletes to show their running rhythm. 110m hurdles required a very consistent rhythm. Once athletes reached the second hurdle they had to find their own rhythm. If an athlete did not have his rhythm by the third hurdle, he would probably lose the competition.
On the field, Lin was bravely running forward. He jumped over four hurdles and was still in good shape. He had found his running rhythm, and now he just needed to adjust himself to a better condition.
"Lin is good! He has proved himself to be a world champion. Even though he missed two years of training, he is still doing well!"
The audience was comprised of all professionals. They knew what they were looking at.
After four hurdles had passed there were gaps between the competitors, and by the fifth the gaps were getting bigger and bigger. Teng Dong, who had the best ability, was leading the race without a doubt, but to everyone’s surprise Lin was holding his own against Dong.
"How could it be possible, Lin hasn’t trained for years, how can he keep up?"
"Lin is as good as Dong in every aspect, no matter speed or rhythm. He has good control of over his body. I thought he would fall behind at the very beginning. I never expected him to be in the lead!"
"What if Lin was pretending to be lazy? Dong is serious today, but he still can’t outperform Lin." Many people were busy thinking about what was going on.
As they reached the sixth hurdle, Lin and Dong were still in the lead. They had an apparent advantage.
No way, Lin is still a strong competitor! Dong was a little bit surprised. In his mind, Lin was already a loser, and should not be able to fight against him. Dong thought he could beat Lin easily.
You are a loser, I will beat you! I’m the best! Dong used all his energy and jumped over the seventh hurdle successfully.
I’m ahead! I will win! Dong was happy.
He forgot, however, that Lin was at his best during the last three hurdles!
The last three hurdles were Lin’s strongest leg of the competition. Even compared to the rest of the world, no one could defeat Lin in the last three hurdles.
As he was jumping over the seventh hurdle, Lin noticed he was falling behind. At that moment, Lin was back at that Olympics where he had won gold. He could clearly recall that during that competition he had also been behind by the seventh hurdle. But it was at the last three hurdles that he had managed to catch up and surpass his competitor for first place. That was how he had gotten his gold medal.
As he was coming back to reality, he finally had the same feeling he had during that Olympics. He returned to what he had once been. His heart started to beat loudly, and his blood was boiling. He only had one thing on his mind: to surpass his competitor!
Run faster! Faster! I can do this!
As he thought this to himself, nothing could stop him. He focused on the finish line. It was the only thing he saw. He was eager to win.
There was a fire burning inside his heart. He belonged to the field. In this moment he had returned to the fearless Feixiang Lin. He was the world champion again. On this field, he was the only king! He was the king of 110 meters hurdles!
As they reached the eighth hurdle, Lin began catching up. By the ninth, Lin was next to Dong. Finally, by the tenth hurdle, Lin had surpassed Dong! There was nothing more but the last 14 meters! Nothing could stop Lin now!
Yeah! He got it! Dai Li was the first one to cheer. He knew that Lin would finally win.
Lin had finished all ten hurdles and still held a safe lead. As for the final sprint, it was impossible for Lin to lose the game with the explosive force halo.
What? Why am I the one falling behind? As Dong jumped over the last hurdle, he realized he was going to lose.
Why me? Did I make a mistake? No, no I didn’t! What’s wrong here?
But Dong didn’t give up. Although he was astonished, he was still struggling to get back in first place. This was his last chance. However, the gap between Dong and Lin had grown even wider.
Lin is like a flash! Is he back to his peak performance? The thought entered Dong’s mind for a moment, but quickly left him. Lin had just hit the finishing line.
"Yes!" Li cheered again, but it was loud in the quiet crowd. Around the track, no one except for Dai Li said anything. Nobody had expected the result to be so surprising. Feixiang Lin, who had been abandoning himself for years, had suddenly become the winner. A few seconds later, someone finally got their voice back.
"Did I watch the wrong game? How could this be possible!"
"Lin is a loser! Everybody knows that! How did a loser win the game?"
"I remember a few days ago Lin was complaining about his tendon aching so much that he could not do any high-intensity training. How did he recover so quickly?"
"Does everybody see his attitude? This lazy bone just defeated Dong, our best hurdler. I can’t believe it! There must be something wrong! Did Dong lose the game on purpose?"
"Are you crazy? Even if Dong did that on purpose, how about the others? Did they also lose on purpose? What for?"
"Here comes the results! 13.29 seconds! Lin’s performance is 13.29 seconds! No one lost on purpose, Lin made it himself!"
13.29 seconds was still not as good as Lin’s best performance, but it was good enough to outperform 99.99% of Asian hurdlers.
coach Ding looked at Lin from afar with a complex expression in his eyes. Shock, surprise, excitement, and gratification had overcome him. His eyes were wet. He closed his eyes, trying his best not to let the tears fall.
For two years he had been waiting, hoping, and praying that Lin could snap out of his negative attitude and get back to being himself again. But seeing Lin come late and leave early everyday, his soul was gone with the wind. coach Ding’s good intentions were dashed.
coach Ding had been disappointed thousands of times, and wanted to give up on Lin, but later regretted. He even dreamed about Lin’s return to the fold. Today, his dream had come true.
Two years of waiting and expectations were what made up Ding’s tears. He could no longer control himself. Lin’s success reduced him to tears.
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