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Pearson happy running her own race

Self-coached Sally Pearson has worked out what works best for her.
Self-coached Sally Pearson has worked out what works best for her.

AUSTRALIA'S athletics head coach Craig Hilliard says self-coached Sally Pearson is in a "happy place'' heading towards her Gold Coast Commonwealth Games career highlight.

Queensland's world 100m hurdles champion ran her fourth-fastest time of the 13-month qualifying period for Commonwealth Games selection in Brisbane on February 4, when she clocked 12.68 sec, ahead of the national titles which start on Friday at Carrara Stadium.

Pearson would clinch selection for the April Commonwealth Games by finishing first or second in Saturday night's 100m hurdles final because she has met the event's A-qualifying time standard.

The 31-year-old's strategy of coaching herself brought her one of her sweetest gold medals at the London world championships last year, but Hilliard said Pearson is happy to seek other opinions where it helps her.

Self-coached Sally Pearson has worked out what works best for her.
Self-coached Sally Pearson has worked out what works best for her.

"Sally knows what works and what hasn't worked for her _ she is happy to consult other people and it's working really well for her,'' Hilliard said.

"She is in a happy space in what she is doing. She has always loved racing and has supported our domestic season as she has always done.

"I'm her athletic performance adviser and we work closely together. She shares her programs and what she is thinking with me.

"She has a team around her, including a biomechanics person she has, and her husband Kieran is a key component of that team.

"Any athlete can learn from the belief Sally has in herself. Champions have the capacity to overcome obstacles.''

Pearson also has the world indoor titles in Birmingham, England from March 1-4 to take in before April's Gold Coast Games.

"I raced at the state champs and ran a season's best time. At this stage, every race you want to be a season's best or at least fast,'' Pearson said.

"I still have to run at the trials and I still have to get selected. I have to jump through some hoops first.

"My preparation is going really well. Everything is geared for the Commonwealth Games and being fit and ready for that.''

The women's 100m hurdles field also has Michelle Jenneke, who set an A-standard of 12.99 in March and Brianna Beahan, who was .01 sec away from an A-standard, with 13.02 last month.

Beaudesert's Riley Day, 17, needs to improve her personal best 100m time of 11.52, set on January 26, to the B-qualifying standard of 11.40 to gain a 100m individual run at the Games.

National 100m record holder Melissa Breen has a B-qualifying standard of 11.33 to her name and under selection rules would gain herself Game selection by winning tomorrow night's final.

Day's B-qualifying time of 23.26 in the 200m has been bettered in the qualifying period by only one woman, Ella Nelson (23.00).

"In the last six months Riley has made significant improvements,'' Hilliard said.

"Hopefully she can stamp her authority. It will be a highly competitive event.''

Topics:  commonwealth games hurdles sally pearson


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