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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Sharon Hannan replaced as Women's Relay coach

Sharon Hannan replaced as Women's Relay coach

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1 Sharon Hannan replaced as Women's Relay coach on Wed Feb 12, 2014 12:50 pm



Sally Pearson’s former coach Sharon Hannan replaced as Australian relay coach

By Damien Stannard
The Courier-Mail
February 10, 2014

Athletics coach Sharon Hannan at Gold Coast City Athletics Track Source: News Limited

THE last thread tying Olympic gold medallist Sally Pearson to her former mentor has been cut by Sharon Hannan’s replacement as Australia’s relay coach.

Pearson, who on Sunday was beaten to the national 100m record by relay teammate Melissa Breen, last year split with the coach who turned her into an Olympic and world champion.

The end of their 14-year partnership prompted Athletics Australia to appoint a new coaching set-up as the women’s 4x100m relay team chases a major championships return after missing last year’s world titles.

Hannan did not challenge the decision, and saw it as a natural evolution of Pearson’s desire to take a different path with her athletics career.

“I didn’t want to put myself or Sally in a potentially awkward position,” Hannan said.

Adam Larcom, Paul Hallam and Breen’s mentor, Matt Beckenham, are the new relay bosses.

Despite Breen and Pearson now being just a lunge away from breaking the 11-second barrier, the experienced coaches do not have an easy road to Commonwealth Games qualification.

Pearson tore her hamstring trying to carry Australia into last year’s world championships and must channel her energy towards the 100m hurdles-100m sprint double in Glasgow.

“It’s complicated. Understandably she is a bit tentative,” said AA high performance boss Eric Hollingsworth.

“Preparing for the 4x100m should not be her priority

“But any team without Sally is going to be a bit weaker.”

Pearson’s involvement in the relay program will be addressed after her world indoor title defence in Poland next month.

“You need five or six (performing), so the rest of the group will be jockeying for position outside the top two,” Hollingsworth said.

Pearson will contest the 100m and 200m at this weekend’s Adelaide Track Classic before a rematch with good friend Breen at the Perth Track Classic on February 22.

Breen, who now holds the Australian 100m record after her blistering 11.11 in Canberra, is the major hurdle in the way of the Olympic champion’s bid to regain the 100m, 100m hurdles and 200m national crowns in Melbourne in April.

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