SALLY’S RUN TO TOP STARTED IN BENDIGO
TURN the clock back to 2004 and the Victorian regional city of Bendigo was where an emerging champion took to the blocks.
The second edition of the Youth Commonwealth Games was taking place and Gold Coast 17-year-old Sally Pearson, then McLellan, was a starter in the 100m hurdles.
A talented underage athlete, Pearson had come off a win at the 2003 world youth championships and her first senior Australian team at the world championships in Paris.
Pearson lived up to her pre-race favouritism in Bendigo and won the race in a Games Record of 14.11 seconds.
This competition would become a launching pad into Commonwealth hurdles competition for Pearson.
Two years later in Melbourne she represented Australia at her first Commonwealth Games.
It was a bittersweet experience for the teenager tripping in the 100m hurdles final before being part of the women’s 4x100m relay team that won bronze.
Pearson would go on to win gold in her pet hurdles event at the next two editions of the Commonwealth Games in Delhi 2010 and Glasgow 2014.