Congratulations to Australian Sally Pearson who not only had to overcome the expectations of a medal hungry nation, but also the fact that she had been the favourite to take out gold at the Olympics in London in the 100m Hurdles for over a year. Despite a loss in the last meet before the Games, Pearson stayed focussed and delivered when it mattered, and broke the Olympic record.
Pearson follows in the footsteps of Shirley Strickland (1952, 1956) and Maureen Caird (1968) who both won as the the Olympic sprint hurdles crown. She however the first to take the 100m hurdles title, as this event was only introduced in 1972 and both Strickland and Caird competed over the old 80m distance.
Pearson never saw the expectation as pressure and summed it well when after the race she was quoted as saying “”Everyone wants me to win and that’s what I want to do. I don’t want to go out there and get second but at the same time I can’t guarantee winning. But I will be doing my best to come home with the gold.”
Twelve years of hard work and dedication have paid dividends to both her and her coach Sharon Hannon who convinced her as a thirteen year old to switch from sprinting to hurdles. Well done to both.