Sally Pearson dominant in world indoor title win
Sally Pearson enters the countdown to her quest for London Olympic glory with confidence sky high after demolishing the field to win the 60m hurdles at the world indoor championships.
The 25-year-old Australian produced the most dominant hurdling display in the history of the championships in Istanbul on Saturday, leaving American-turned-Brit Tiffany Porter trailing 0.21s in her wake.
Uncharacteristically sluggish out of the blocks in her semi-final, Pearson was back to her best with a 0.136 start reaction time as she powered away to win the final in 7.73 seconds – the equal fourth fastest of all-time to win from Porter and Belarusian Alina Talay (7.97).
“I am so excited. I was so nervous for that race. I was nervous but I want to stay calm. I didn’t want to jump the start. My semi-final was yuk. I hated it. I’m glad that I won in a good time,” said Pearson.
Beijing Olympic silver medallist Pearson added the world indoor title to her 2011 world championship (outdoor) crown and 2010 Commonwealth title and now turns full focus to Olympic gold in London.
“World indoor was my main priority this ‘winter’ season,” said Pearson. “Now I have 10 days off before starting to train again.
“I’ve never done a world indoors before and I really wanted to do it.”
“I felt the pressure but I was in fantastic shape. And I was ready.
Pearson’s time fell short of Susanna Kallur’s world record of 7.68s with Swede Ludmilla Engquist 7.69 and American Lolo Jones 7.72s the only others faster.
Coincidentally, Pearson is also the fourth fastest ever outdoors over the longer 100m hurdles.
Pearson’s brilliance helped inspire countryman Henry Frayne to a silver medal in the long jump with an Australian indoor record 8.23m leap, just missing the gold in a countback to Brazil’s Mauro Da Silva.
Australia’s best triple jumper, Frayne opened with an 8.17m leap but then had three fouls followed by a 7.89 to be lying third behind Da Souza’s 8.23.
“I was feeling a bit flat and started to think I had spent all my bikkies with the 8.17m in the first round,” said Frayne.
“Then I saw Sally run. She timed it well. She did a run-by just before I was about to go. Then I had the crowd all to myself. It was the perfect combination to pull a jump out of a tired body.”
Frayne soared 8.23m, matching the Brazilian and securing the silver.
Named in the Olympic team in both long and triple jumps, Frayne declared: “I’m still a triple jumper who long jumps and that’s the way my training is going to stay.”
Australia’s men’s long jumping stocks continue to appreciate with Frayne the latest to enjoy success under the guidance of Gary Bourne.
The Queensland coach with the midas touch can lay claim to the success of two-time world outdoor champion Mitchell Watt, Australian women’s record holder Bronwyn Thompson and also guided the early career of Sydney Olympic silver medallist Jai Taurima.
American Ashton Eaton set the second world record of the competition with a dominant performance in the heptathlon, breaking his own standard with 6645 points.
Kiwi Valerie Adams regained the world title she lost in 2010 in the shot put. – AAP