Pearson on track in heats win
Sally Pearson delivers blistering performance in hurdles heat. Picture: Ian Munro/The West Australian

Sally Pearson didn’t want to speak about the crisis engulfing the Australian athletics team.

So she let her feet do all the talking with a blistering performance in the heats of the Commonwealth Games 100m hurdles at Hampden Park.

Pearson wasn’t bothered at all about her part in the rift that resulted in the ejection of Australian head athletics coach Eric Hollingsworth by producing 12.69secs to be the fastest qualifier for tomorrow’s final.

Eye-catching McCann in final

And there will be two other Australians in the race with Michelle Jenneke (13.33s) and WA’s Shannon McCann (13.34s) also in the battle for medals.

Pearson was ecstatic following her heat win, signing autographs and joining in selfie pictures with fans in the crowd.
There was no hint of the problems from earlier in the week.

“It is the happiest face I’ve had all season,” said Pearson, who came into Glasgow 2014 with concerns over a sore hamstring.

“It is a relief that it is all coming together. I know it usually does but it is nerve-racking time because I haven’t raced since London (two weeks ago). That was stepping it up the next level again there with 12.79s but now I have dropped it again dramatically by a tenth of a second.

“I was really nervous out there because I was treating it like a final. It is so nice to have a nice time out there and feel good in my running.

“It was such a relief.”

Sally Pearson storms to victory. Pic: Ian Munro/WA News

The Olympic, world and defending Commonwealth Games champion in the discipline had felt good in training during the week but didn’t know how the body would stand in competition.

Pearson said her head was in a good place despite the Hollingsworth crisis. It was Hollingsworth’s public criticism of Pearson’s decision not to attend a pre-Games training camp that prompted Athletics Australia’s move to suspend him and the Australian Commonwealth Games Association’s action to send him home.

“It has been pretty tough, it has been pretty distracting,” she said.

“I have forced myself not to go there and put myself into this head space that I know is positive.

“Obviously I’m going to address these issues but not now. Maybe with a gold medal around my neck and we need to talk about this issues.”

However, Pearson did touch on her reasons why she didn’t attend the camp in Gateshead, even though she is the Australian athletics team captain.

The 27-year-old indicated she had had strong support from within the athletics camp.

“Yes I’m the team captain and it would have been good to be in camp but I wasn’t,” she said.

“I did what was right for me. I’ve got a good bunch of team event coaches to get the athletes through, to give them inspiration and motivation to get ready for the Commonwealth Games.

“I know our team was going to come together and lift each other which we have over the last week of athletics.”

The West Australian

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