Chinese athlete Liu Xiang competes in the 60 metres hurdles event at the International Athletics PSD Bank Meeting in the western German city of Dusseldorf.

Dusseldorf -

China's former Olympic champion and world record holder Liu Xiang finished third in the 60m hurdles on Friday at the Dusseldorf indoor meet, his first European appearance in three years.

Liu finished behind Petr Svoboda of the Czech Republic and America's Kevin Craddock who were both clocked at 7.57sec.

The 27-year-old Chinese superstar timed 7.60sec, 0.18 off his personal best of 7.42sec set in February 2007.

Earlier in the evening, Liu was second in his heat in a time of 7.66sec.

Liu, who will also run at the Karlsruhe event on Sunday, last appeared in Europe in March 2008 when he clinched the world indoor title in Valencia.

But since that victory, his career has been marred by injuries, notably pulling out of the Beijing Olympics in 2008 just a year after being crowned world champion.

He raced sparingly in the waning months of 2009, returned to action indoors in 2010 to reach the final at the World Indoor Championships in Doha, but raced just once outdoors that spring before taking another extended break.

However, he returned to form in November when he timed 13.09sec to take his third successive Asian Games title to end the season as the third fastest high hurdler outdoors.

Meanwhile, Saint Kitts and Nevis sprinter Kim Collins equalled the best time of the year in the men's 60 metres in a time of 6.52sec.

The 34-year-old Collins, the world 100m champion in 2003, equalled the time set by Jamaican Nesta Carter, set in New York on January 28.

Kenyan teenager Isiah Kiplangat Koech became just the fourth man to run the 5000m under 13 minutes when he clinched victory in 12min 53.29sec.

The 17-year-old follows Ethiopians Kenenisa Bekele, who set the world record in 2004 (12min 49.60sec) and Haile Gebrselassie (12min 50.38sec) as well as fellow Kenyan Daniel Komen (12min 51.48sec).

Another Kenyan, Nixon Chepseba, set a season best of 3min 34.65sec in the 1500m. -

Sapa-AFP