Xiang Liu of China posted a new world record of 12.88 for the event at a meet in Lausanne, Switzerland on 11 July 2006.
At the Athens Olympics on 27 August 2004 Xiang Liu had equalled the former world record of 12.91 established by Britains Colin Jackson at the IAAF World Outdoor Championships in Athletics in Stuttgart, Germany.
Xiang Liu is now seen as a trailblazer for Chinese athletes who are in preparation for the big event in 2008.
In football the Chinese have sent a full contingent to Brazil to learn much more about the tactics and skills that are now so integral to the game. It is a matter of learning from the best. The nations footballers appear to be constantly improving even as the sport takes on a more popular character across the nation.
Chinese swimmers are in extensive training as are the gymnasts.
Chinese divers have long since been a force in international competition and at the last Olympic Games in Athens, the synchronized swimmers, all delightfully young, showed signs that they were quickly coming of age.
Indeed there are many sports analysts who are already predicting that China will make a tremendous impact on the medals tally at the Beijing Olympics, perhaps more than any of the more recent hosts of this international sporting spectacle.
Everywhere there is a strong sense that China is deep in preparation in respect of using the Olympic Games of 2008 to showcase its immense array of talented athletes in almost every sporting discipline on the Olympic Games Programme.
Remarkable and Historic Games
There is a feeling that China will be among the most prepared hosts of an Olympic Games ever.
The 2008 Summer Olympic Games are historic in every sense.
Politically China has been an isolated nation for many years. Its communist history and at times brutish and perhaps criminal arrogance against dissidents left many wary of ever drawing close.
The USA has played games with the international community in terms of its relationship with China, driven perhaps by the immense economic potential of the Chinese nation.