Pearson wins silver
9 March 2014
ATHLETICS: The Australian Flame captain Sally Pearson (Qld) has won a silver medal in the women’s 60m hurdles at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Sopot (POL).
Adding a sixth major championship medal to her already impressive list of accolades, Pearson can now proudly display today’s silverware alongside her London 2012 Olympic crown, the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth title, gold medals from the IAAF World Championships and IAAF World Indoor Championships and her silver medal from the 100m hurdles as Moscow 2013 last year.
Pearson’s start in the final came after a blistering 7.79, the fastest ever performance in the first round, to launch her campaign yesterday, before backing up with another strong performance of 7.81 in her semi-final earlier today.
Launching from lane four in the final, the 27-year-old executed her trademark quick start before sailing over the first four hurdles. Pearson then clipped the final barrier and charged for home where she was narrowly defeated by Nia Ali (USA, first, 7.80, PB), with Moscow 2013 bronze medallist Tiffany Porter (GBR, third, 7.86, SB) rounding out the top-three.
Ever the perfectionist, Pearson was disappointed with her performance despite the excitement felt by the Australian athletics community.
“I stuffed up out there tonight. I am disappointed with my performance; I was in shape to win the gold but I didn’t execute a good enough race to be the best out there this time around,” Pearson said.
“It wasn’t my night, but it was Nia’s and I have to congratulate her on a great performance. She was the best athlete out there and I have said all along that it isn’t about times, but instead about the athlete that can run the best race at the time and she did that.”
Pearson will now return home, where she is expected to compete in the short sprints at the Sydney Track Classic next Saturday 15 March, before a return to her preferred 100m hurdles at the IAAF Melbourne World Challenge the following Saturday 22 March.
“I switch back to Australian season mode now. I don’t want this race to affect how I run at home because I am very much looking forward to racing again in Sydney next weekend, and then again in Melbourne and through to the Nationals,” Pearson added.
“The Commonwealth Games are still a huge goal for me this year, and getting my preparation right during my home season is crucial as I missed that last year and want to take as much as I can away from it this time around before coming back to Europe.”
Birmingham a gallant 10th in hotly contested men's 3000m final
Australian half-marathon record holder Collis Birmingham (Vic) has this morning crossed a gallant 10th in a hotly contested men’s 3000m final at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Sopot (POL).
Closing out the Australian Flame campaign at the championship, Birmingham’s performance, which saw him run 7:57.55, sees him match the placing of Craig Mottram (Vic) from the same event at the 2004 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Budapest (HUN) and equal the third best performance ever by an Australian man in the 3000m in the history of the championship.
The race started slowly, with multiple athletes heading to the front in the opening stages to move through the first kilometre behind Augutine Choge (KEN, ninth, 7:57.46) in 2:48.83. As the paced increased coming into the last six laps, Birmingham moved wide in an effort to remain in touch with a more speedy contingent of leaders, with the IAAF World Cross Country Championships top-eight finisher battling some tough jostling into the final 1000m.
The eventual winner Caleb Indiku (KEN, first, 7:54.94) then increased the pace to a sprint with three laps to go and didn’t relinquish the lead, as Bernard Lagat (USA, second, 7:55.22) became the oldest men’s medallist at Sopot 2014 in taking silver and Dejan Gebremeskal (ETH, third, 7:55.39) won bronze.
Scheduled to compete the 5000m at IAAF Melbourne World Challenge later this month, Birmingham ran 7:46.15 to place sixth behind the winner Choge (KEN, first, 7:44.85) in his heat and advance to the final this morning.
His performance continues a strong start to his 2014 season, with the national 10,000m champion impressive at the Go for 2&5 Perth Track Classic last month where he ran an strong sub 4-minute mile to finish second behind visiting middle distance specialist James Magut (KEN).
It has followed what was a very impressive 2013, with Birmingham’s athletics resume last year including a top-eight finish at the IAAF World Cross-Country Championships, a new Australian record in the men’s half marathon, competition in the men’s 10,000m at the IAAF World Championships and victory in the men’s 10,000m Australian championship to ensure his automatic nomination for selection to compete at the upcoming Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.