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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Sally Pearson confident her mental strength will deliver gold at the Moscow World Championships

Sally Pearson confident her mental strength will deliver gold at the Moscow World Championships

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http://www.foxsports.com.au/other-sports/sally-pearson-confident-her-mental-strength-will-deliver-gold-at-the-moscow-world-championships/story-e6frf56c-1226693212200

Sally Pearson confident her mental strength will deliver gold at the Moscow World Championships

Scott Gullan
Herald Sun
August 08, 2013



2012 Olympic 100m hurdle champion Sally Pearson in Tonbridge, England. Source: Bryn Lennon / Getty Images

SALLY Pearson is banking on two years of dominance being her secret weapon as she chases a second world title.

The Olympic hurdles champion believes the mental edge she has carried over her rivals will be a major factor in Moscow as she scrambles to be at her best after an injury-interrupted season.

"This year is a bit different to the last two years but at the same time everything is coming together at the right time," Pearson said. "I had a good win in London (last month) even though the time was not that fast, it was still faster than all the other girls who'd been beating me for the whole season which was good.

"I hope I shook things up a little bit and made them think. 'Hey, she is coming back, she is the Olympic and world champion, she does know how to do this and she is probably the most experienced person out there'.

"Hopefully I put that into their minds and reminded them who I am and that I am a competitor when I go into a major championships.

"I think I have just as big a chance as everyone out there and I can’t wait to see what I can produce. Everyone knows I'm a big time performer and that is what I thrive on."

Pearson, who has strained her hamstring twice this year, admitted her victory at the Anniversary Games in London's Olympic Stadium in 12.65sec was the confidence boost her world championships campaign desperately needed.

"It's definitely hard being an Olympic and world champion and going into races not being at your best," she said. "It's not so much the times but it was also getting absolutely smashed in races against people that I was smashing two years ago and last year.

"But it is what it is, this is the year that we have had. It's something different that we have had to deal with this year and I think we are dealing with it."

The Pearson camp have been buoyed by some impressive training sessions over the past week at the Australian team camp in Tonbridge, England.

"At the moment training has been going really well and the speed I am training at is just as fast as last year and the year before," she said.

Pearson, who won the 2011 world title in Daegu, South Korea, revealed a chat with Olympic 110m hurdles champion Aries Merritt at last month's Monaco Grand Prix - where she finished fifth - had helped get her back on track.

"He just said that he believed in me," she said. "He has obviously been through the same thing I have, except he has done his hamstring three times.

"He said to just start believing in yourself now and make sure that you get to those world championships in the best state possible and sometimes mental strength is far more beneficial than physical strength.

"And you have to start believing in yourself now if you want to win those world championships. It was nice to hear that from someone different and someone you don’t speak to every day."

Pearson said she was looking forward to clashing with US college star Brianna Rollins, the fastest hurdler in the world this year, who has dodged a match-up with the Olympic champion throughout the European season.

"As athletes we all prepare differently and she has obviously chosen to prepare the way she has and you have got to respect that," she said. "I think with Dawn Harper last year we didn’t race each other until the final at the Olympics so it's nothing really different and it will probably be the same with her (Rollins)."

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http://www.theage.com.au/sport/athletics/pearson-is-back-after-london-win-20130808-2rh8r.html#ixzz2bKXFNJUr

Pearson is 'back' after London win

Michael Gleeson, Moscow
The Age
August 8, 2013  


After a season of slow times and regular defeats as she battled back from injury world and Olympic champion Sally Pearson said that a victory in London last month – her first win of the year - confirmed in her mind that she was now ‘back'.

Pearson said that she rediscovered the "extra gear" in London that has been missing all year as she recovered from back to back hamstring injuries and it has now given her the confidence to believe she was approaching her best again in time tochase a second consecutive world title at  the World Athletics championships that begin in Moscow on Saturday.

The Olympic gold medallist and reigning world champion said that her victory at the Anniversary Games in London on July 26 also sent a warning to would be challengers not to write her off.

"Even though the time was not that fast it was still faster than all the other girls who had been beating me for the whole season which was good," Pearson said.

"I hope I shook things up a little bit and made them think ‘hey she is coming back, she is the Olympic and world champion she does know how to do this, she is probably the most experienced person out there'.

"I think I have just as big a chance as everyone out there … everyone knows I am a big time performer and that is what I thrive on."

Pearson said she felt physically different in London and she feels mentally in a better place as a consequence of the win.

"It was there in London I felt that extra gear, obviously there is another gear on top of that as well but that will come now naturally from the training I was doing," she said.

"I was definitely feeling in London a lot sparkier in the legs than I have been feeling. I probably made it to the eighth hurdle this time around which is a lot more of a relief than making it to the fifth hurdle."

Pearson's coach Sharon Hannan said the difference in Pearson was palpable after London.

"I turned to Kieran (Pearson's husband) and said ‘this is a bigger relief than London (Olympics)' because you know what you are seeing on the track but they have to put it into action … I knew she was in better shape than she actually believed and to get that result you could actually see her smile before she crossed the line," Hannan said.

Pearson now also has to contend with the emergence of a new challenger. American Brianna Rollins ran 12.26 seconds earlier this year – the equal third fastest time ever – and .02 seconds faster than Pearson's personal best.

Yet oddly she has so far avoided racing Pearson. They were due to meet on the track for the first time in Monaco at the Diamond League meet but Rollins pulled out at the last minute. It is understood the withdrawal was because the Americans wanted to save the 21-year-old from Pearson – or save her up for her depending on how you want to view it.

"As athletes we all prepare differently and she has obviously chosen to prepare the way she has and you have got to respect that and I think Dawn Harper last year we didn't race each other until the final at the Olympics so it is nothing rally different and it will probably be the same with her," she said.

"It is a shame I haven't been able to race her but at the same time I prepared the way I wanted to. I didn't shy away from anything I was there I stepped up and was getting smashed in races, not running fast times like I wanted to like last year and the year before but I was still there, I was still doing it and pushed through those hard times."

Notwithstanding that, she acknowledged she carried an aura about her as the reigning world and Olympic champion, a factor that American hurdling star Aries Merritt said to her after a disappointing run in Monaco that she needed to draw on.

"Aries Merritt said ‘these people are scared of you' and I said ‘why have they not seen my results over the season?' He said ‘no, but they know you, they know what you have done, they know you are a competitor' and I guess he put it in my head and made me realise yes I am a competitor. I don't use the Olympic title and world title to intimidate people but it makes me realise yes I can do this, I do know what to do, I know what it takes to be a world champion. And that is something I have over other people."

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