• China's Liu Xiang clears a hurdle at a training base in Shanghai, June 30, 2009.

China's Liu Xiang clears a hurdle at a training base in Shanghai, June 30, 2009. (Photo : Reuters)

Fans of Chinese hurdles athlete Liu Xiang were given a frank update this week, as Liu told reporters that his chances of competing in this year's IAAF World Championships event are "pretty slim" and "very limited."

The personal assessment was delivered as part of an official presentation in which the athlete was highlighted as one of the seven promotional ambassadors for the Aug. 2015 competition, which will be held in Beijing.

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The star hurdler was forced to miss both of the last two Olympic events due to a persistent Achilles heel injury that has taken him out of contention since London in 2012.

Liu is actually China's first-ever men's track-and-field Olympic champion after he won the 110-meter event in 2004. He then became a world-record holder in 2006, with a 12.87-second run over the same distance, and entered the 2008 Olympics in Beijing as a top sporting celebrity.

It was while competing in his signature 110-meter event at the 2012 Olympics that the Achilles problem struck again, forcing him to stumble off the track and remove himself from the remaining races. Liu underwent surgery after he returned from the United Kingdom with a ruptured Achilles tendon, but has not competed since, as he has never moved beyond the rehabilitation stage.

However, the celebrated track-and-field athlete has a significant history with the IAAF event, as he explained to the media this week:

"I have competed in five editions of World Championships, in 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2011, respectively. As a veteran I feel proud to see the World Championships to be held in China. And I will definitely be part of the World Championships no matter in what way."

August's championships will be staged in Beijing's National Stadium, which is also known as the "Bird's Nest."