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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Sally Pearson to target Australian 100m record

Sally Pearson to target Australian 100m record

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1 Sally Pearson to target Australian 100m record on Wed Sep 07, 2011 10:43 am



Pearson ready to target Aust 100m record

John Salvado
The Age
September 5, 2011

On a high from her hurdles gold medal heroics in Daegu, Sally Pearson is ready to give the longstanding Australian 100m sprint record an almighty scare on Saturday.

New world champion Pearson is heading to Zurich to contest her specialist 100m hurdles event at the Diamond League meet on Thursday.

Then it's on to the World Challenge meet on Saturday in Rieti, an Italian mountain town with a long history of quick sprint times.

Pearson has entered the 100m flat in Rieti and, if the conditions are favourable, she looks primed to smash Melinda Gainsford-Taylor's 17-year-old record of 11.12 seconds.

"That's been the plan all year, to go there in top shape on the back of the world championships and see just how fast she can go in the 100," said Pearson's coach Sharon Hannan.

Pearson, 24, has always been an accomplished flat sprinter, having won the national 100m title five times.

She sits second on the Australian alltime list with a best of 11.14 set at the 2007 world championships in Osaka.

Pearson ran a flying anchor leg in the heats of the women's 4x100m relay in Daegu on Sunday, although it was not enough to lift the Australian team into the final.

"I can't wait to run the 100m in Rieti," she said.

"(The 100m hurdles final) was amazing - it was the most special night I have ever had.

"And coming out with the relay team was incredible.

"We are individual athletes but I think it is really special that we are able to come together as a team and work really well - leaving other things behind and going forward and running well."

The 100m hurdles medal ceremony was held straight after the relay heats on Sunday.

Pearson said she had already become used to the idea of being a world champion, although her time of 12.28 in the final - which lifted her to fourth on the all-time list - would take longer to sink in.

"It's just seven hundredths of a second off the world record and never in my wildest dreams did I think I would get there," she said.

Pearson also has two other 100m hurdles races scheduled in Zagreb and Brussels later this month before returning to Australia on her 25th birthday on September 19.

She will pocket almost $100,000 in prizemoney if she wins the 100m hurdles in the Diamond League final in the Belgian capital on September 16.

"Let's Go While We're Young"



Sally Pearson celebrates her victory in Daegu earlier this month.

Pearson may break national sprint record

Emma Greenwood
Gold Coast Bulletin
September 8th, 2011

MELINDA Gainsford-Taylor's "love and passion" for athletics will have her cheering on Sally Pearson as the Gold Coast flyer attempts to break her national sprint record.

Gainsford-Taylor has enjoyed her time as Australia's fastest woman but is looking forward to becoming the former national record-holder in the 100m sprint if it means new hurdles world champ Pearson breaks her mark of 11.12sec in Rieti, Italy, at the weekend.

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Pearson rarely runs the 100m flat in international competition but is set to take advantage of the best form of her career to break her own PB of 11.14sec and, coach Sharon Hannan believes, Gainsford-Taylor's 17-year-old national mark.

"I'm really happy she's running the 100m there," said Gainsford-Taylor, now a national selector.

"It's a great move and obviously she's in great shape."

And if a sizzling Pearson breaks her 1994 record as she works on her speed in a march towards a new hurdles mark, Gainsford-Taylor will be thrilled.

"Because I have such a love and passion for the sport, I want the sport to excel," she said. "Of course I'll be a little (disappointed) but that was then and this is now.

"I've had the title for a long time and it's something I'm very proud of.

"It's something that my kids (Nicholas and Gabriella) know about now but the kids even know Mum's record is going to be broken by Sally.

"She truly deserves everything she's got over the last few weeks."

Gainsford-Taylor said Pearson's world championship-winning effort had to rank as one of the best efforts in Australian athletics history.

"It'd have to be way up there -- not only the fact she won the world championship but how she did it.

"To be able to do a PB in the semi-final and then an even bigger one in the final was incredible.

"She overshadowed Usain Bolt, and who would've thought that was possible?"

But Gainsford-Taylor was loathe to compare it with other performances such as Cathy Freeman's gold medal-winning effort in the 400m at the Sydney Olympics.

"I've never been a big fan of comparisons," Gainsford-Taylor said.

"Cathy's was an exceptional run in Sydney, in her hometown (Olympics) with all that pressure.

"Both performances were brilliant."

But while Sydney was Freeman's peak, Gainsford-Taylor does not believe we have yet seen the best of Pearson, whose best hurdles time is now just 0.07sec outside the world record.

"She's 25 on September 19 and I just can't see her not improving," she said.

"I do believe she can definitely improve."

"Let's Go While We're Young"

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