Faster starts buoying Olympic champion Pearson

Tue May 5, 2015 11:15pm EDT
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MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Australian hurdler Sally Pearson believes she has recaptured the quick starts that were her hallmark in the halcyon days when she swept to the world title and Olympic glory in successive years.

The 28-year-old will compete in her first international meeting outside Australia this year at Sunday's Golden Grand Prix in Kawasaki as she builds up to the world championships in Beijing in August.

Pearson lost her 100 meters hurdles world title to American Brianna Rollins in Moscow in 2013 and has battled to match her form of 2011-12, when she was virtually unassailable and became her country's first IAAF female athlete of the year.

But the Gold Coast native was buoyed by her winning time of 12.59 seconds at national championships in Brisbane in March - the third fastest time of the year - and feels she is firing out of the blocks again.

"The way I ran at nationals was a relief more than anything," she said in an Athletics Australia news release.

"I've been trying to change my race a bit, especially my start, working toward getting it back to the good old days in 2011 and 2012 where I was the best starter in the world, and (until Brisbane) my start had been a bit off this year.

"I have been beaten out of the blocks and that's something I'm not used to.

"We have tried to get my quick start back to where it was and the information we have now shows that I am starting faster than I ever have, which is exciting.

"To me the start is the most important thing about my race and if I can nail that then not many people can catch me from there."   Continued...

Sally Pearson of Australia competes during the women's 60 metres hurdles heats event at the world indoor athletics championships at the ERGO Arena in Sopot March 7, 2014. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez