Pear­son coach points to ‘ scin­til­lat­ing’ form in train­ing runs Ri­vals ‘ should fear Sally’

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - SCOTT GUL­LAN

SALLY Pear­son’s ri­vals should fear the for­mer Olympic cham­pion as she seeks to wind back the clock at the world cham­pi­onships.

Aus­tralian team head coach Craig Hil­liard has no doubt the re­turn of the 2012 Olympic 100m hur­dles cham­pion af­ter two years miss­ing be­cause of in­jury has her ri­vals on edge.

He points to her stun­ning Di­a­mond League run last month at the Lon­don Olympic Sta­dium – the same track where she won Olympic gold in 2012 and will line up in the world cham­pi­onships heats tonight – as ev­i­dence that the vet­eran is still in the medals mix.

Pear­son ran 12.48 sec – her fastest time for five years – to fin­ish sec­ond, just a stride be­hind Amer­ica’s world record holder Ken­dra Harrison ( 12.39sec).

“Go back and watch the Lon­don Di­a­mond League and any of her pre­vi­ous ma­jor cham­pi­onship per­for­mances,” Hil­liard said.

“Sally is a ma­jor cham­pi­onships per­former, that is what she has got go­ing for her so they should fear Sally.

“She’s an Olympic gold medal­list, a world cham­pi­onship gold medal­list, nearly broke the world record in Daegu ( in 2011), so that’s Sally.

“She is in a re­ally good space and her warm- up yes­ter­day was fan­tas­tic.

“I think she can ( get among the medals), ab­so­lutely, and more im­por­tantly Sally be­lieves she can.”

Hil­liard said while Pear­son wasn’t happy with the cou­ple of races she had af­ter the im­pres­sive Di­a­mond League run in Lon­don, she’d rec­ti­fied some tech­ni­cal is­sues in train­ing.

“Since the Di­a­mond League she had two more races af­ter that which weren’t ex­actly around what she wanted,” he said.

“But since then some of her train­ing she has got through has been scin­til­lat­ing.”

Pear­son, 30, is the third fastest hur­dler in the world this year.

The 2011 world cham­pion was al­most lost to the sport af­ter be­ing forced to miss the Rio Olympics but de­cided to start coach­ing her­self last year which has proved to be a mas­ter­stroke.

At Aus­tralia’s team camp in Ton­bridge in the lead- up to Lon­don, Pear­son was con­fi­dent her rep­u­ta­tion would be a fac­tor in the world ti­tle race.

“Some­times sport can def­i­nitely be a mind game,” Pear­son said. “As much as I like the thought of peo­ple think­ing that ( the 12.48 proves she is re­ally back), peo­ple know what I’ve done and peo­ple know what I’m ca­pa­ble of.

“I think peo­ple know that and I don’t have any­thing to prove to any­one else.”

Aussie hur­dler Sally Pear­son.

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