Aussie hurdler worried about trip to Japan
By Jim Morton
Sydney Morning Herald
April 14, 2011
Japan may be one step too far for Australia's hardest-working athlete, Sally Pearson, who has grave fears about heading to the earthquake-ravaged country for a last ditch world titles relay qualification tilt next month.
Star hurdler Pearson will be the headline act at this weekend's national track and field championships, looking to become the first woman in 47 years to win three national sprint titles in the 100m hurdles, 100m flat and 200m.
While Pearson starts her campaign on Friday night in the 100m heats, her coach Sharon Hannon will also raise concerns with Athletics Australia about the scheduled May 8 relay trip to Japan in the wake of last month's deadly 9.0 magnitude quake and tsunami.
Australia's women's 4x100m relay team have been entered into the Kawasaki Super Meet with the intention of breaking 44.00 seconds to qualify for the world championships in Daegu, South Korea in August.
The team of Pearson, Melissa Breen, Laura Whaler and Charlotte van Veenendaal have been unsuccessful with two qualifying tilts in Sydney this domestic season, missing out by the barest of margins with times of 44.02 and 44.04.
Hannon said the quartet were desperate to book a place in Daegu but had real concerns about damage to the Fukushima nuclear plant, 220km away from Fukushima, and continued aftershocks, with the latest (7.1) coming on Monday.
"That in itself brings some trepidation," Hannon told AAP.
"I'm going to be talking to AA tomorrow and I've been on the DFAT website every couple of days for the last few weeks just checking and it doesn't do the confidence any good when there are aftershocks of 7.4 closer to Tokyo than the original (quake) was.
"And Kawasaki is only on the edge of Tokyo and the Japanese Athletics Federations have declared they won't move it anywhere else."
"We're very, very hopeful (of qualifying) but they've had two opportunities and haven't put the performances on the board."
Last edited by Admin on Wed Apr 20, 2011 3:51 pm; edited 1 time in total