The day after Sally Pearson (Qld) won a silver medal at the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008 the 100 metre hurdles started planning and working for gold in London.
On the 7th of August 2012 at 9pm she produced the perfect race under enormous pressure from herself, the whole of Australia and an amazing field.
Pearson clocked 12.35 seconds from lane 7 in the rain to add the Olympic title and Olympic record to her world outdoor title, world indoor title and Female Athlete of the Year crown.
2008 Olympic Champion Dawn Harper ran a sensational race and perfect dip to make it an anxious wait for the 25-year-old Australian and the hundreds of Australians in the Olympic Stadium. Harper’s time of 12.37 was a personal best and her American teammate Kelli Wells won the bronze in a personal best 12.48.
Pearson becomes the 10th Australian female athletics gold medallist and the third sprint hurdler after Shirley Strickland (Helsinki 1952 and Melbourne 1956) and Maureen Caird (Mexico City 1968).Pearson with her coach Sharon Hannan have been working tirelessly for this day and dreaming of it ever since they started working together in 1999 when she was just 13.
Four years ago she ran 12.64 seconds and had the perfect dip on the line to get the surprise medal. Every training session and every day she has worked to get faster and perfect every aspect of her race. Her reaction to that medal was only topped by the emotion and sheer relief of tonight.
It was her second fastest time ever behind her 12.28 seconds in warm conditions in Daegu at the 2011 World Championships.
Every sports fan in Australia would have been up early to cheer at their television screens and Pearson will no doubt inspire the next generation of Australian sprinters.
With thanks to the Australian Olympic Committee
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