News

Pearson relieved to win ahead of worlds

28 July 2013

ATHLETICS: Sally Pearson breathed a big sigh of relief after making a triumphant return to the London Olympic stadium by winning the 100m hurdles at the Diamond League Anniversary Games. 

The Olympic and world champion has struggled this season after returning from two hamstring tears. 

But Pearson ran a season best 12.65 seconds on Saturday to beat Great Britain's Tiffany Porter (12.76) and American Kellie Wells (12.95).

The 26-year-old said the "breakthrough" win was a huge relief after a frustrating season to date. 

She's returning to form just in time for next month's world championships in Moscow. 

"It's hard when you are Olympic and world champion and getting absolutely smashed in races and having bad comments about you," she told reporters after the win. 

"(But) it's nice today to come out and know that I am a champion and I know how to get the job done." 

Asked who'd been criticising her, the Queenslander replied: "I'm not going to say anything (more) - it's just the way it is." 

Pearson said with her form coming back she would "hopefully come out and win again at the worlds". 

Returning to the Olympic stadium provided "huge motivation". 

The capacity crowd gave her an enormous cheer before giving UK golden girl Jessica Ennis-Hill an even bigger one. Ennis-Hill, the Olympic heptathlon champion, finished fourth in 13.08. 

"It really felt like I was back at the Olympics again," Pearson said. "That just shows I do like the big occasions." 

In the three weeks before her event at the worlds Pearson will focus on speed work to give her the sharpness she'll need to beat American favourite Brianna Rollins who ran 12.26 at the US trials in June. 

West Australian Kim Mickle was thrilled to throw 63.05 in the javelin on Saturday despite being in the middle of a training block. 

Her third place means she's now had ten straight podium finishes heading to Moscow. 

"I'd love to keep my (run of) podium finishes (at the worlds), that's for sure," Mickle told AAP. "I want a PB plus. I want the Australian record. That's my goal." 

Mickle, 28, said throwing well at the Olympic stadium was a redemption of sorts following "the disappointment of my life" at the 2012 Games when she failed to make the final. 

Fellow Aussie Kathryn Mitchell threw a season best of 61.45 on Saturday to finish fourth and prove she's a chance of a medal in Moscow too. 

Fabrice Lapierre posted 8.17 in the long jump to come second. The NSW athlete felt he had a 8.30 in him but retired after his 5th jump when he grabbed his right thigh. 

"I'm hoping it's just a cramp but we'll see when I get it checked out, it should be fine," he told AAP. 

Lapierre is hoping for a medal in Moscow. 

"I missed out last year at the Olympics because I was injured and I want to make up for it this year," he said. 

James Nipperess came 11th in the 3000m steeplechase in 8:53:28. 

Julian Drape 
AAP