Posted: 19 August, 2012 by Triple M Sport

Sally Pearson Wins Gold In The Women's 100-Metre Hurdles At The London Olympics

Australian Sally Pearson has backed up her world champion status by claiming the gold medal in the women's 100-metre hurdles at the London Olympic Games.

Tags: Sally Pearson, London Live

Sally Pearson won a thrilling victory in the 100m hurdles final at the London Olympics on Tuesday, lunging at the line to edge out defending champion Dawn Harper by two hundredths of a second.

PHOTO GALLERY: Sally Pearson's Amazing Race

The winning time of 12.35 seconds was an Olympic record and Pearson's second fastest ever, behind only her winning effort of 12.28 in last year's world championships final in Daegu.

Eddie McGuire was there for Triple M, he spoke to Mick Molloy and Luke Darcy just after leaving the stadium:

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Triple M spoke to Sally Pearson's high school coach Brett Green before the race:

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...and after the race!!!

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Harper pushed her all the way, lowering her personal best in the semi and again in a final decided with a photo finish.

Harper took the silver in 12.37 and fellow American Kellie Wells claimed the bronze in 12.48, which was also a PB.

The last five Olympic pre-race favourites in the 100m hurdles had all failed to win the ultimate prize.

A different type of hurdling curse struck again earlier on Tuesday when Chinese superstar Liu Xiang crashed out with a serious leg injury for the second straight Games without clearing a single barrier.

But none of that affected Pearson who hugged her coach Sharon Hannan, husband Kieran Pearson and her mother after the race.

It was Australia's 20th Olympic track and field gold medal and the first won by a woman in the pre-eminent sport of the Games since Cathy Freeman's unforgettable triumph on home soil in the 400m in 2000.

Pearson joins Freeman and pole vaulter Steve Hooker as the only Australian athletes to win gold at the Olympics and the world championships.

Harper (gold) and Lolo Jones (fourth on Tuesday) were the only other survivors from the 2008 final in Beijing when the then Sally McLellan announced herself to the world with a shock silver medal.

Last year she was the most dominant women's track and field star on the planet, a status acknowledged when she was voted the IAAF's world female athlete of the year.

Pearson's winning time of 12.28 seconds at the world championships in Daegu was the fastest in almost two decades, moving her to fourth on the alltime list.

Pearson has only been beaten twice in the last two years - at last year's Diamond League final in Brussels when she crashed into a hurdle and at last month's Diamond League meet in London, when she was pipped by Wells in atrocious conditions.

The women's sprint hurdles is Australia's most successful Olympic track and field event, with Shirley Strickland (1952 and 1956) and Maureen Caird (1968) having previously claimed gold when it was contested over 80m rather than 100m.

"Oh my God. This is absolutely incredible," said Pearson.

"I said to myself `I want this. It has to be mine. It can't go any other way'. I was so nervous and so scared for it but I was ready. I wasn't going to let anything stop me."

While her time was slick on a cold, damp night, it was only the gold medal that mattered to Pearson.

"It wasn't the fastest time I'd run but I don't care, I said `I don't care if I run 14 seconds I just want that gold medal'."

"It was funny, I didn't realise how close Dawn Harper was, because she was a few lanes away from me. I wasn't going to let myself look until I crossed my finish line."

"Then I saw her and I thought 'oh man that was really close'."

Unsure if she'd won, Pearson looked to the crowd.

"Everyone in the yellow over there for Australia was like: 'It's yours. It's yours'. I didn't believe it until I saw it on the screen."

Tags: Sally Pearson, London Live

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