Report03 Sep 2011

Women's 100m Hurdles - Final - Pearson clocks sensational 12.28!


Sally Pearson of Australia crosses the line in the women's 100 metres hurdles final (© Getty Images)

Sally Pearson after the huge disappointment of not even winning a medal at the last Championships two years ago finally erased from her mind that doomsday night in Berlin with a pulsating 100m Hurdles victory in the world's fourth fastest time ever seen of 12.28.  

Her blistering pace and composure over the hurdles saw her eras the Championships record of 12.34 which Ginka Zagorcheva set on Rome's Olympic track 24 years earlier.

Pearson makes no secret the heartbreak of the last Championships when a recognised favourite for the gold medal in the German capital's historic 1936 Olympic Stadium was the lowest point of her career, although competing with a torn disc in her lower back - not known at the time -  was a massive major handicap.

There were huge tears of disappointment on the 24-year-old's face on that occasion when finishing fifth. But tonight they were all tears of joy mixed with a massive Gold Coast smile as the Australian dynamo sped to an amazing success on the fast blue Daegu 2011 track.

Pearson having earlier in the evening posted the world's equal fifth fastest ever performance  of 12.36 - a new Oceania Area record and the quickest since US legend Gail Devers ran 12.33 in Seville 11 years ago - followed the dinner starter with a wholesome main course.

The 2008 Olympic silver medallist's electric performance - preceded by a huge ear shattering Mexican Wave before the start of the race from an excited an appreciative crowd  - saw her finish well clear of the American pair of Danielle Carruthers and Olympic champion Dawn Harper.

Both stars literally only saw the back of the world leader as she left the blocks before them and engaged themselves in a personal national battle. Such was the pace of their domestic race they were both in a photo-finish credited with lifetime bests of 12.47.

While they celebrated there was despair for their fellow team USA partner Kellie Wells who had preceded Pearson as world leader until the Aussie arrived on European soil in early July and took over the mantle.

The 29-year-old US champion attending her first ever Championships and who was almost eliminated in her semi when in the lead hitting the second last hurdle but qualified as runner up, fared even worse on this occasion.

Wells technique where behind Pearson she was likeliest gold medallist, saw her collide with the fifth and sixth barriers before having an even worse encounter at the next and did not finish. It just wasn't her night.

While she was rubbing her wounds Pearson after a long two year wait was letting out all of her pent up emotions, but on this occasion there was a massive difference, they were as a winner and not a loser.

Her victory was also the first occasion since an Aussie woman has won a major low hurdles global title which was before she was born at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico.  Maureen Caird and Pamela Kilborn at altitude took the 80m Hurdles gold and silver medals.

Lauren Lee and David Martin for IAAF

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