London Diaries, Day 5: Let it Rain, Pearson Takes 100m Hurdles
by Larry Eder
Sally Pearson did it the hard way. Running against the best in the world, the top hurdlers in contemporary hurdling. A few minutes before the final, it began to rain.
Sally Pearson has only lost two races in two years. She was the World Champion in 2011 and World Indoor Champ in 2012. She has the fastest times in past two years.
And on top of that is she from sports mad Australia. They love sports in Australia and they put a bit of pressure on their athletes. They want winners.
Sally Pearson began hurdling at the age of 15. She is a fine sprinter, but a better hurdler.
In the final, Sally Pearson got out well, but so did Dawn Harper the 2008 Olympic champion. Dawn has been left off a few lists, but she is for real and she has the collection of hurdle medals to prove it.
Pearson got out and by the fifth hurdle, she and Harper were together. Kellie Wells was there as well as Lolo Jones.
By hurdle six, Sally Pearson and Dawn Harper were away, with Wells moving into third as Jones, Yanit fought for the same position.
As Harper put pressure on Pearson, Sally used those years of experience and confidence and stayed focused on getting over the hurdles with little extra effort, controlling her speed between the hurdles and racing.
Dawn Harper, the 2008 Olympic champion was not going away. Dawn was hurdling the best she has done in years, and she was focused as well.
As Harper and Pearson began to sprint, it came down to the lean, and Sally Pearson used her skills, and just outleant Harper.
Sally Pearson ran a new Olympic record of 12.35 for the gold. Dawn Harper ran 12.37 for the silver, her personal best. Kellie Wells took bronze in 12.48, her pb. LoLo Jones ran 12.58, her best time since 2010, for fourth. Nevin Yanit ran 12.58, a NR for Turkey. Phylicia George of Canada ran 12.65, her PB for sixth. Jessica Zelinak of Canada, who had recently finished the Heptathlon here in London, ran 12.69. In eighth was Beate Schrott of Germany who ran 13.07.
In the end, Sally Pearson held up under the pressure and achieved her dreams. She wept with joy as she hugged family and friends. Dawn Harper, the 2008 Olympic champ, now has silver and was very happy. Kellie Wells, the last women to defeat Sally Pearson, earned her bronze fair and square.
As I have said all season, the women's 100m hurdles would live up to the hype, and it did.