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Sally ditches hurdles, Dani throws in Birmingham

Friday, 18 August 2017 | Athletics Australia



Reigning world champion in the 100m hurdles Sally Pearson will bypass the barriers this weekend at the Diamond League meeting in Birmingham on Sunday.

The 30-year-old is fresh off winning her second hurdles world title in London and continues her European season with her third race in 2017 over 100m.

Pearson will start with a season’s best of 11.50 and if her form in the English capital is anything to go by she may be able to get close to her personal best of 11.14 set in Japan ten years ago.

If she did make an improvement on her career best could see the 2012 Olympic hurdles champion climb the all-time Australian rankings with the national record at 11.11 held by Melissa Breen.

“It wasn’t my idea,” Pearson said of the 100m race in Birmingham.

“My agent and husband just put me in it and said to just go and do it.

“I don’t have to train that way, and can just focus on another competition.”

First round complete. On to the semis tomorrow night. #GodIsUpToSomething #KeepFaith

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Competition to make the 100m final in Birmingham will be very high with reigning double Olympic sprint champion Elaine Thompson headlining an elite entry list.

Also featuring is reigning two-time world 200m champion Dafne Schippers, Olympic 400m champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo, Marie-Josiee Ta Lou and young British sprinter Bianca Williams.

Pearson will then run the women's 100m hurdles at the IAAF Diamond League final in Zurich (SUI) before returning home to support her unwell dog, Toby.

“My dog Toby is sick at the moment and he requires my full attention sooner rather than later. I am disappointed that I can't finish off the season the way I would like, especially after winning my second World Championship gold medal, but for me family comes first.

“I would like to thank everyone who has supported me on my journey this year and I hope to see you all next year at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast."

In the women’s discus competition Dani Stevens will throw for the first time since claiming a silver medal at the world championships in London.

The 29-year-old who was the world champion in 2009 added to her packed trophy cabinet with a performance Stratford that was capped with a final throw of 69.64 metres, a personal best and national record.

Only two women throwing at Birmingham have thrown further than Stevens, one of whom is world championships gold medallist and two-time Olympic champion Sandra Perkovic.

Patrick Tiernan features in the 3000m, in a race that will serve as Mo Farah’s final competitive run around a track in the United Kingdom as he comes closer to switching to the roads.

The Australian, Tiernan, who will be joined by compatriot Sam McEntee, has had huge season setting personal bests on the track from 1500m up to 10,000m including a number of competitive runs in the Diamond League.

Also in the race will be local British runner and fellow 5000m world championships finalist Andrew Butchart.

The traditional Emsley Carr Mile will feature two Australian middle distance runners including national 1500m champion Ryan Gregson who will be keen to put an underwhelming world championships behind him.

Following an appearance in the Olympic final last year Gregson was unable to progress out of the heats in London in a very tactical race.

Jordan Williamsz will also be on the start line after missing out on the 1500m in London by just one position after only getting on to the team through an IAAF roll-down invitation.

Others in the mile includes bronze medallist in the steeplechase from London Evan Jager, world 1500m semi-finalist Jake Wightman and United States champion Robby Andrews.

💚LONDON 💛 thank you. Bring on more races! 🐎 #LACAZE

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Genevieve LaCaze ran strongly at the world championships in the steeplechase following a long injury lay off during the European season and still qualified for the final in London.

The 28-year-old could have an eye on her personal best in the 3000m in Birmingham, which sits at 8:52.28 set in Zagreb last year.

Joining her will be Melbourne Track Club teammate and 1500m London world championships semi-finalist Zoe Buckman who has raced herself into good form at the right time of the season.

Pushing the pace will be newly crowned steeplechase world champion Emma Coburn and 5000m world championships gold medallist Hellen Obiri.


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