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31 May 2023

Aussie Olympic champion hurdler Pearson retires

Photo: AFP


Australian Olympic hurdles champion Sally Pearson announced her shock retirement Tuesday, less than 12 months from the Tokyo games, revealing that she had been battling persistent injury problems and could no longer cope.

"I am here to let you all know that I have decided to retire from my sport of athletics," Pearson said on her Instagram account.

"It has been a long 16 years ... My body has decided it is time to let it go, and move forward onto a new direction," she said.

"I have prided myself on always being on the start line ready to win. I no longer believe I can achieve this," Pearson, 32, added.

Pearson, who won gold in the 100m hurdles at the 2012 London Olympics, is the reigning Olympic and World Championship record-holder in the event and an IAAF Female Athlete of the Year.

She revealed in an interview with Australia's Seven Sunrise television programme that she had suffered numerous leg injuries while preparing for the next World Championships in Doha in September.

Injury also prevented her from competing in last year's Commonwealth Games.

"When you count six injuries this year that no one knows about and another whole year to go of training to the Olympics, to try and win gold, I have major doubts my body will make it," she said. "I don't know if I want to put myself through that again."

"2018 was horrible with my Achilles tendon, and not being able to run at my home town Commonwealth Games. That was devastating. I don't think it is fair to do that to that to myself and my body, as well."