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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Olympic champion Sally Pearson forced to train on sub-standard Gold Coast track

Olympic champion Sally Pearson forced to train on sub-standard Gold Coast track

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Olympic champion Sally Pearson forced to train on sub-standard Gold Coast track

Emma Greenwood
The Courier-Mail
August 27, 2012

OLYMPIC champion Sally Pearson has revealed she is forced to train on a sub-standard Gold Coast City Council-funded running track that is "falling apart" because nobody will pay for a repair.

Council officials proudly used the poster girl as a crowd puller to their annual race day on Saturday, but have left the Gold Coast Athletics Track, at Griffith University, to rapidly deteriorate.

Now Pearson wants something in return.

"I just want it to get redone because it's been there since 1998 and it's starting to fall apart really," she said.

"They've just built tennis courts and volleyball courts there, but we still haven't had our track done yet."

Pearson said athletics officials have been asking for the track to be repaired for years.

"I know we've been asking for a reseal for a number of years now, so I'm not sure where it is in the process now, but I hope it is getting done."

Pearson's own squad includes fellow Olympian, Papua New Guinean sprinter Toea Wisil and hurdlers Andrea Miller and Siddhanth Thingalaya, who missed Olympic selection through injury.

The track is also home to the Gold Coast Victory Athletics Club, whose members include Olympic discus thrower Julian Wruck and world youth championships runner Katelyn Simpson.

"There's also other sports that come there as well, like triathletes come there, Olympians, I'm not the only Olympian that trains there," Pearson said.

Pearson believed the reseal was a good investment of council funds.

"Especially when the Gold Coast is going to have the Commonwealth Games in 2018, it would be nice to have a new track for the athletes to train on," she said.

Pearson seldom speaks out of school, but has had enough of the situation and hopes her recent success may help the plight.

Area councillor Dawn Crichlow said an upgrade of the track was "long overdue".

"Sally is 100 per cent correct and this work should have been done five years ago," she said.

"The council is totally aware this needs to be done, but it has been delayed because we only have a short-term lease on the site.

"Griffith University have assured me the track is here to stay so we should press ahead with it as soon as possible."

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