Pearson takes huge step in World Champs comeback
SALLY Pearson ran first-race nerves out of her system on Saturday to begin an ambitious, seven-month countdown to the world championships.
Dual 100m hurdles world champion Pearson won a 100m flat race at the University of Queensland, almost 12 months to the day since her last race in Brisbane in the lead-up to her ill-fated Commonwealth Games campaign.
The 33-year-old was in familiar race-hungry mood as she won her first race on the way to October's Doha world championships, stopping the clock at 11.57 sec (headwind 1.4m/sec) in cool conditions.
Beaudesert's national sprint double champion Riley Day, also having her first race of the season, was second in 11.95, with Northern Ireland's Amy Foster (12.03) third.
"I'm a racer. I have been since I was younger, so it will be good to back up (through three more meets) through to the nationals,'' Pearson told The Sunday Mail.
"I'm ready to go this year and ready to fight and hopefully ready to win. You know me. I have been like that my whole career.
"I will make sure I don't peak too early and probably do more training, knowing I am already on the world championships team with my wildcard (entry). I have to run to the best of my ability (later in the year).
"I was so nervous about today. About 20m I really felt like I was doing a 200m. I'm really glad I have the first race out of the way.''
Pearson will contest the 100m hurdles, her first race in her pet event this season, at the state titles in Brisbane next Sunday.
"It will be my first hurdles race in 12 months, so I will be nervous there too but excited to see what I can do,'' she said.
"It's been a year since my last comp, so I need the practice in races.''
The world titles are about two months later than in a normal season and Pearson said she will take her cues from a preparation for her 2010 Commonwealth Games gold-medal campaign.
"I'll be trying to simulate what I did in 2010 at Delhi because it was in October as well,'' she said.
"For a first run today, I'm satisfied. I'm disappointed about the wind.''
Pearson will run 100m hurdles races at the state titles, the March 23 Queensland Track Classic and next month's national titles in Sydney.
"I use these meets as training. I don't peak for them,'' she said.
Brisbane's 200m national champion Alex Hartmann won the men's 100m in 10.58 (headwind 0.9m/s).