The Sunday Mail (Queensland)
Sally curses one that got away
SALLY Pearson must have been throwing things at her TV on the Gold Coast on Friday night as the 100m hurdles turned into a farce at the world championships in Beijing.
Had Pearson been fit and healthy, a second world title was there on a platter.
Pearson has been frustrated by the need to rehab a broken wrist but for the bigger picture of next year’s Rio Olympics, the events in Beijing were a huge confidence boost.
The world title went to a promising Jamaican ahead of a little-known German and even lesser known Belarusian.
None of them were on the radar for medals in the lead-up to the championships.
Danielle Williams, 22, took the gold in a personal best of 12.57sec, which was the slowest world-championship winning time in a decade, on a track that had been super fast.
Dutchwoman Dafne Schippers had run the third-fastest 200m in history only 30 minutes earlier.
The carnage in the hurdles began in the semi-finals.
American Dawn HarperNelson, the 2008 Olympic champion who was runner-up to Pearson in London 2012, crashed at the second hurdle.
In the next semi-final, American Kendra Harrison was disqualified for a false start, while one of the favourites, Croatia’s Andrea Ivancevic, fell in her semi-final.
That meant the title should have been effectively handed to defending champion Brianna Rollins, with Britain’s Tiffany Porter the next best qualified. But Rollins faltered, finishing fourth, and Porter dropped to fifth.