Australia’s Sally Pearson, Olympic 100m hurdles Champion, is coming back to Zagreb. In 2011, she won here in 12.68. Two years later, on 3 September, she will challenge Olga Shishigina’s meeting record of 12.60 against USA’s Dawn Harper, Kellie Wells and Queen Harrison.
Sally Pearson (born on 19 September 1986) is the 2012 Olympic Champion from London, 2011 World Champion from Daegu and 2013 World Vice-Champion from Moscow. She drew attention to herself in 2001, when, aged 14, she won at the Australian U20 Championships. At the beginning, she competed equally in the 100m sprint and 100m hurdles, so that she ran in the semifinals of both events at the 2007 World Championships in Osaka. At the beginning of 2008, she decided to focus on the 100m hurdles, and that decision launched her among the world’s greatest female athletes in the past years.
Already at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, she won silver in a race resolved by the photo finish. And then her winning streak began. At the World Championships in Daegu, she won in 12.28, the fourth-fastest time in history. She started the Olympic year with gold in the 60m hurdles from the World Indoor Championships in Istanbul, and then won 32 out of 34 races until the London Olympics. Although Dawn Harper vigorously tried to defend her title from Beijing in the final, Pearson took the gold medal finishing in 12.35, two hundredths of a second ahead of her great opponent.
Sally Pearson was awarded the world’s best female track and field athlete in 2011, succeeding Croatia’s Blanka Vlašić to the throne.
She had two hamstring tears at the beginning of this year and she only started running seriously in June. Despite that, she won world silver in 12.50 in Moscow, in an excellent final against a new hurdling sensation, USA’s Brianna Rollins (12.44).
„I had thought I would not even appear at these World Championships, so I could not expect more than this. I ran as fast as I could. But silver won’t happen to me any more!“ Pearson said after the Moscow final.