This has been one of the biggest sports setbacks for China from the start of the Beijing Olympics.
Liu Xiang, the 110 meters hurdles champion, on whom the hopes of China's 1.3 billion people were pinned, had to withdraw from the event following a severe injury.
Many spectators were reduced to tears witnessing the fall of their great sports icon.
He is famous for his Gold in Athens in 2004 which also pushed China to an enviable position in the world of sports.
For many Chinese, it was like a bolt hurled from the blue, as they stared disbelievingly at the fall of a great hero.