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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Andy Walshe is helping Lolo Jones to catch Sally Pearson

Andy Walshe is helping Lolo Jones to catch Sally Pearson

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http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/sport/london-olympics/andy-walshe-is-helping-lolo-jones-to-catch-sally-pearson/story-fn9dirj0-1226419909884

Andy Walshe is helping Lolo Jones to catch Sally Pearson

Damian Stannard and Tom Wald
The Daily Telegraph
July 08, 20121


Sport scientist Andy Walshe is hoping 'Projext X' will help LoLo Jones, right, beat Aussie Sally Pearson at the London Games. Source: AP

SALLY Pearson is going to take some catching in the 100m hurdles at the London Olympics, but an Australian is trying to plot her downfall.

Sport scientist Andy Walshe is a vital cog in the camp of American Lolo Jones, the only woman in recent years to get close to Pearson's best time of 12.28sec.

He is the brain behind Project X, the high-tech system Jones hopes will deliver her a competitive edge in London.

"I've worked globally for the best part of 20 years so I treat this professionally," said Walshe, director of high performance for Red Bull's global athlete development program.

"I love Australia to win but equally I want to see athletes pushing themselves and the best athletes win."

But all the science in the world will struggle to put the brakes on Pearson's charge towards gold.

She showed all of her class to overcome clipping a hurdle mid-race to produce the third fastest time of her career at the Diamond League meet in Paris, winning in 12.40sec.

The only two times she has run faster were on the way to winning last year's world title in Daegu, suggesting the 24-year-old world record of 12.21sec is in serious danger in London.

Pearson was threatened by American Virginia Crawford (12.59sec) in the middle stages of the race on Friday night, but she burst clear again to win easily.

"I was proud that I was able to compose myself," she said.

"That was why I was so excited. Of course, the time was fantastic. I was a little disappointed that if I had not hit that hurdle it would have been in the 12.3s."

Pearson said she was exactly where she wanted to be a month out from the Olympic heats on August 6.

"I am confident that I can come away with the gold, but I can't guarantee it," she said.

"I want it. My body can do it. I know I can do it.

"I have been beating these girls every single race for how many races, it is just a matter of doing it on the day."

Jones is the wildcard.

She scraped into her national team last month as third-fastest at the US trials after injury battles over the past few years.

But the 29-year-old has the pedigree to challenge Pearson and she is backed by the 3D motion capture system used to animate blockbuster films Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith, the Pirates of the Caribbean series, Transformers and Iron Man 2.

It helps eliminate flaws in her technique by capturing, to the millimetre, and analysing her every movement.

"It's such a technical event," Jones said.

"If I have one mistake over one hurdle, that's it. I feel like Red Bull Project X is my advantage and sometimes that's all you need."

For more information on the science project surrounding Lolo Jones see the Coaching & Training forum.

http://protrack.easyforumlive.com

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