Tuesday 26 September 2017

Pearson suffers first 2012 loss

Alison Wildey

Australia's red-hot Olympic favourite Sally Pearson suffered her first defeat of the season in the 100m hurdles as Games medal hopefuls found the going tough at a cold and wet London Grand Prix yesterday.

World champion Pearson, winner of 15 of her 16 races last year and unbeaten in 2012, led until the final two hurdles before she was overhauled by American Kellie Wells.

"My coach told me to come here and do something today and I think I did it pretty well," said Wells, who celebrated her victory with a dance, to the delight of the capacity crowd.

"To beat somebody like Sally Pearson gives me a lot of confidence. The hurdles is tricky, if you negotiate them well you will do really good, but if you make one mistake it can take you out of the race. So today was good."

There was also a shock in the women's 100m with Nigerian Blessing Okagbare winning the race in 11.01 seconds, 0.02 ahead of American world champion Carmelita Jeter.

Olympic gold medallist Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce appeared to stumble slightly at the start and finished last, but the Jamaican was philosophical about her performance.

"As an athlete you have to take precautionary measures and hope things get better because the Olympics are pretty much on us," she said.

Women's javelin world record holder and Olympic champion Barbora Spotakova of the Czech Republic came off second best to Britain's Goldie Sayers who won the event with a national record of 66.17 metres.

But the news was less good for Beijing silver medallist Phillips Idowu and high hurdler Tiffany Porter, with both Britons suffering injury scares.

Idowu pulled out of the triple jump with a back injury and Porter left the track in tears having finished last in her 100m hurdles heat in some discomfort.

France's Christophe Lemaitre won the men's 200m in a season's best time of 19.91, but said he would have to go faster to win an Olympic medal.

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