Olympic champion Sally Pearson (Qld) has aspirations for gold at Glasgow 2014 and arrives at the Commonwealth Games confident that her form will continue to improve after a false start to her international season because of injury.
Arriving into the Athletes’ Village exactly seven weeks after a hamstring strain forced her withdrawal from the IAAF Diamond League event in Rome (ITA), the national record holder and athletics team captain believes she has prepared to the best of her ability given the circumstances.
“The preparation has probably been the best it can be. My time in London was the fastest I’ve run all season since being over in Europe, so coming to the Commonwealth Games with that under my belt is a huge confidence boost and sign things are heading in the right direction. I’m a lot happier in the village now than what I thought I was going to be,” Pearson said.
Pearson is likely to sit out the women’s 100m, instead choosing to focus the sprint hurdles, an event that has delivered her virtually unparalleled success in recent years including gold in Delhi (IND) four years ago.
“The latest I can pull out of the 100m is 48 hours before and right now it is more likely that I’m going to pull out. I’ve had a few discussions with a lot of people including my coach and at this stage we are not sure I can do two events,” Pearson said.
“It’s disappointing that my injury has led me to this decision, but at the same time the 100m in Delhi was a bonus. It was a late decision, probably a couple of days out from when I actually raced. I think it would be more disappointing if I could run the hurdles or if I couldn’t be here at all because of my injury, so I’m just happy to be here right now and hopefully give it everything I can to win the gold medal again in the hurdles.”
Pearson is one of three Australian women set to take on the likes of IAAF World Indoor Championships bronze medallist Tiffany Porter (ENG) in the women’s 100m hurdles, with open age major championship debutants Michelle Jenneke (NSW) and Shannon McCann (WA) also set to compete in the green and gold.
A 100m hurdles finalist at the 2012 IAAF World Junior Championships, Jenneke will compete after two consecutive wins at the Welsh Athletics International in Cardiff (GBR) and the Loughborough EAP. Her performance at the latter was a mere 0.04 seconds outside of her personal best of 13.23.
McCann, a two-time national champion in the sprint hurdles, has competed for Australia twice at the Summer Universiade where her best performance saw her cross sixth in the final in Kazan (RUS) last year. She is coached by Jason Moyle and since arriving in Europe has enjoyed podium finishes at the Memorial Leon Buyle in Oordegem (BEL) and the Guldensporenmeeting in Kortrijk (BEL).
The 2014 Commonwealth Games commence in Glasgow (SCO) today, with athletics competition set to commence with the men’s and women’s marathon on Sunday 27 July. The competing Australian athletics team is 99-strong, the largest ever to compete in the green and gold offshore.