LONDON — After overcoming two years of setbacks, Australian Sally Pearson roared back to win the women’s 100m hurdles at the IAAF World Championships on Saturday.
Pearson kept her cool to clock 12.59 seconds to beat her rivals, including American world record holder Kendra Harrison, to the finish line — justifying the decision she made last year when electing to coached herself.
“Every single emotion that you can hold in your body just came out when I crossed that finish line,” she said after crossing the finish line.
“It wasn’t surprise, it wasn’t shock, I was just proud, so proud of what I had done to get here.”
After missing much of the last two seasons because of injury, Pearson, who won the Olympic title inside this same London Stadium in 2012, was determined to shake off those setbacks.
In the 2013 and 2014 seasons, she battled back from hamstring injuries to grab a World Championships silver medal and a Commonwealth Games title in Glasgow.
However, the 30-year-old was forced to miss the 2015 world championships after breaking her wrist in a nasty fall in Rome, while a hamstring and Achilles problems made it difficult for her to compete as well.
Pearson was hoping to defend her title at the Rio Olympic Games last summer, but after struggling to shake off the ongoing issues with her wrist, she opted to end her season prematurely.
“2015 and 2016 – twelve months with four severe injuries and then in August the first day of athletics at the Olympics I decided to coach myself,’’ she noted.
“It took me hours and hours and hours on the first day to write a program out and decide what was best for me and what I could and couldn’t do, being an older athlete, having these injury troubles.
“And taking those first steps onto the track, my training partners saying `you can do this’. I’ve got the most tight-knit little squad, I call them Team Pearson, of my friends and my mum and my husband and my training partners, I’ve only got two of them.
“They’re the ones I have to thank tonight because don’t think I would be here without them. They had more belief than me coming into tonight.”