Recovering Liu running on a tour of duty

»Returning to the track is nothing more than a responsibility, Chinese hurdler Liu Xiang said as he prepared for his much-anticipated comeback after 13 months out injured.

The former Olympic and world 110 metres hurdles champion will take part in the Shanghai Golden Grand Prix on Sunday, competing for first time since hobbling out of last year's Beijing Olympics.

"My motivation is that it is my job, what I have to do. That's all, nothing else," the 26-year-old told a news conference.

"I am just very happy to be back on track. I am feeling my shape is ok ... My foot has recovered well. Otherwise I wouldn't come up here to run," he said.

"I am able to compete. I want to get back my form."

Clijsters build-up to   begin at Brisbane

»US Open champion Kim Clisters will build-up for next year's Australia Open with her first appearance at the Brisbane International tournament, organisers said.

"Kim is an extremely popular player with both fans and players and it will be great to see her competitive spirit come alive on court," Brisbane tournament director Steve Ayles said in a statement.

"We are particularly excited to have her in the tournament after her unbelievable return to women's tennis at the US Open where she had stunning victories over both the Williams sisters."

Clijsters beat Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki 7-5 6-3 in the US Open final on September 13 to claim her second grand slam title. She won the same Flushing Meadows title in 2005.

Malaysian move hurts badminton star

»Malaysian badminton chiefs have stripped Tan Ching Seang of his livelihood by imposing a two-year ban on him for quitting the national squad, the player has claimed.

The 23-year-old wants to be able to compete and earn money in smaller international events at home, sanctioned by the Badminton Association of Malaysia.

The BAM imposed a ban earlier this week, however, after Tan ended his seven-year relationship with the national squad citing family problems. A player cannot compete in international tournaments if they are not endorsed by their national body.

"The BAM have spent a lot of time, money and resources in grooming the players. It is time we review the premature exit of the players," BAM president Nadzmi Mohd Salleh told local media.

"We are giving him (Tan) time to sort out his personal problems. The door will be open to him after two years.”

Manaudou set to plunge to a different life

»Former Olympic and world swimming champion Laure Manaudou of France has said she was retiring to enjoy life outside competitive sport.

"It's decided, I'm stopping," the 22-year-old Manaudou told French daily Le Parisien. "Since January, I learned how to look after myself. I'm enjoying the life I couldn't have before.

“It's silly but taking time to make up or comb my hair are things I could hardly do when I swam twice a day.”

Manaudou, who won the 400 metres freestyle gold medal at the 2004 Games in Athens and also won world titles for the 200 and 400 freestyle, had said in January she was taking a break from the sport, which she has now decided to make permanent.

"There is also the pressure from the media. Whatever I do, they're always spying on me,"  she said.