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PROTRACK » GENERAL » From Beijing to London: coach reveals Pearson's four-year plan

From Beijing to London: coach reveals Pearson's four-year plan

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From Beijing to London: coach reveals Pearson's four-year plan

By Michael Gleeson
The Age
Date August 8, 2012

Thirteen years after they met at a Little Athletics carnival Sharon Hannan and Sally Pearson finally reached the goal they had set a decade earlier.

When Pearson, 25, won and went to the crowd of yellow shirts at the fence, she found Hannan and hugged her tight.

I was just nervous about how she would handle the speed of the track because everyone was talking about how fast the track was, so I was just quite nervous about it.

"The first thing she said to me was 'thank you so much. I can't thank you enough. Thank you, thank you, thank you'," Hannan said.

Sharing the victory ... Sally Pearson heads into the stands to celebrate with her coach Sharon Hannan. Photo: Pat Scala

They began preparing for this moment four years ago, the day after Pearson won a silver medal in Beijing. The athlete had had a taste of Olympic success and wanted more.

"Straight away she wanted gold in London, so we did everything we could in the four years," she said.

The planning was meticulous and the attention to detail from coach and athlete fastidious.

Hannan had expected rain and planned Pearson's training for it. Despite having been dry for most of the Games it rained on Pearson race, but not on her parade. She won the race with a time of 12.35s, setting a new Olympic record.

"I didn't think there had been enough rain for it to be too big of an issue in the semi final," she said.

"I was worried for how long it would keep going and how much there would be before the final -ultimately, even if she has to run 12.5s in the rain she'd win it, I was quite sure that she would win it.

"Once I saw her race yesterday, I was really happy with the rhythm, the 8th and the 10th hurdles were messy but the 9th she recovered really well.

"When it started raining I still thought she could get a 12.3s. It was light, but light rain on a dry track can be a bit slippery.

"I was pretty happy with 12.39s she ran in the semis. She pulled up a bit tight and was a bit tight in warm-ups and needed a fair bit of treatment."

Hannan believed Pearson was in the sort of shape where she should be running 12.20s races. When she ran 12.39s in the semis she was pleased Pearson had taken her advice and run a controlled race to get used to the track, and the rain.

"I was just nervous about how she would handle the speed of the track because everyone was talking about how fast the track was, so I was just quite nervous about it," she said.

"Add her speed to the speed of the track and you can have disaster."

After the start Hannan was only aware of a figure on the track, not Pearson herself.

"I could see the little yellow top bobbing up and down the track but I couldn't tell you anything about technique at all," she said.

"It's great, she's an Olympic champion and an Olympic record holder, amazing. They were horrible conditions out there for hurdling, Sally is pretty relieved. This will be one of the greatest moments of her life, she'll dine out on this for a long time, she will be happy happy happy."

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