Olympic hurdles champion Pearson splits with coach

Wed Oct 9, 2013 5:34pm EDT
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MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Australia's Olympic hurdles champion Sally Pearson has split with her coach Sharon Hannan after 14 years, citing a need for a fresh start.

The 27-year-old Pearson, who won 100 meters hurdles gold at the London Games, was runner-up to American Brianna Rollins at this year's world championships in Moscow in defense of her 2011 title.

"The time is right for us to go our separate ways," Pearson said in a statement on Athletics Australia's website (www.athletics.com.au) on Wednesday.

"Sharon has made me into a champion but I feel that to move to another level I need to freshen up my approach to training, develop fresh ideas and incorporate new challenges into the way I do business.

"My competitors are always striving to make themselves better and I must do the same."

Pearson would investigate her coaching options with Athletics Australia and make an announcement in the near future, the statement said.

Hannan said: "Yes I am disappointed, but Sally and I discussed the options and she believes this is best for her.

"We had some amazing performances. We have conquered the world and I wish her every success for the future and hope that she continues to conquer the world."

A self-taught coach, Hannan first spotted Pearson as a young girl at a regional junior championship in Australia's northeastern Queensland state and guided her to a silver medal in the 100m hurdles at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.   Continued...

Sally Pearson of Australia holds her national flag after finishing second in the women's 100 metres hurdles final during the IAAF World Athletics Championships at the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow August 17, 2013. REUTERS/Dominic Ebenbichler