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Pearson wins remarkable silver

18 August 2013

ATHLETICS: Sally Pearson (Qld) has backed up her Olympic title with a remarkable silver medal in the women’s 100m hurdles at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow. 

Strong out of the blocks with a reaction time of 0.154, Pearson led through the first five hurdles before eventual winner Brianna Rollins (USA, first, 12.44) came home like a steam train to clinch gold from the Olympic champion, who crossed in a season best of 12.50 (w: -0.6). Tiffany Porter (GBR) won bronze in a personal best 12.55. 

Blitzing the field in her semi-final earlier in the evening, Pearson broke away from Dawn Harper (USA, second, 12.61) to cross victorious in a time of 12.50 (w: -0.7) and advance to the final fastest. 

“This is a satisfying medal placing. As you all know it has been very hard this year and there is not doubt that I owe everything tonight to my coach Sharon (Hannan). I nearly didn’t make it to these championships to be honest so I can’t ask for anything more,” Pearson said. 

“I executed that race as best I could, and as hard as I could. I am very proud of how I’ve handled myself at these championships, and I am so excited to come away with a season best. That said I don't want silver to happen again.” 

Pearson’s silver medal tonight adds to an already illustrious resume that includes the London 2012 Olympic gold, the Beijing 2008 Olympic silver, a Commonwealth gold, the 2011 world and 2012 world indoor crowns and the Oceania and Australian record for the women’s 100m hurdles of 12.28. She is the new Australian Flame captain, and was the 2011 IAAF World Athlete of the Year and the 2012 Athletics Australia Athlete of the Year. 

Pearson’s focus now shifts to closing out her season strongly, with racing scheduled for the next month before finishing her season in Gateshead (GBR), the same location as the Australian Flame Camp for the 2014 Commonwealth Games. 

“I’m certainly coming into form now, and hopefully I can close out my year strongly with some quick times. I only got beaten by one person tonight, I have trained so hard and hope that maybe my quickest performances are still to come,” Pearson added. 

Pearson’s stunning performance followed a strong run by Martin Dent (ACT) in the men’s marathon to open competition here on Day 8. 

Pacing his race perfectly, Dent made his move up the ranks after coming through the half way mark in 46th place in a time of 1:07:46. He continued to pass those ahead of him for the remainder of the race, crossing 30 kilometres in 36th (1:37:02) and 40 kilometres in 24th (2:10:01) before entering the stadium in 23rd place and stopping the clock at 2:17:11. 

“I think I paced it pretty close to optimal, it has gone pretty much to plan which is a good result. The last five kilometres were probably the strongest marathon that I have run,” Dent said. 

“It wasn’t as hot as the girls out there, that was carnage, but I’ll think you will find the DNF rate is quite high. The sun is hot out there, and I prefer a colder climate to that tested me and I am happy with how I handled it. I was able to build my pace as planned and I think that just comes through experience.” 

Shawn Forrest (Vic) competed alongside Dent in the men’s marathon, crossing the line a courageous 50th in a time of 2:39:09. 

Australian Flame debutant Jackie Areson (Qld) closed out the green and gold campaign in-stadium tonight, competing in the final of the women’s 5000m. Crossing the line in a time of 16:08.32 she finished 15th overall. 

“Everyone has big goals. I came in with the 12th best time of the year out of the people in my race and so I thought just an OK race I can be around there, so it's disappointing to be so far off the back. Once I knew I wasn't feeling great I was just trying to stay focused on my little bubble and try not to get lapped. I think I did a good job of not blowing up too bad,” Areson said. 

Kim Mickle (WA) and Kathryn Mitchell (Vic) headline the Australian Flame charge in Moscow on the final day tomorrow, with the duo set to compete in the women’s javelin final. On track, the Australian Flame 4x100m relay team will compete looking to advance through their heat and into the final, which will be the final event on the program.

Athletics Australia

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