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