http://www.heraldsun.com.au/sport/sally-pearson-closes-in-on-perfect-season/story-e6frfglf-1226136518292Sally Pearson closes in on perfect season From:Herald Sun
September 14, 2011
AUSTRALIA'S Sally Pearson is just one race away from completing a season of total world hurdles domination after victory at the Zagreb World Challenge today.
The world champion Pearson clocked 12.68s on a warm still night in Croatia as she again cleared away from Olympic champion Dawn Harper, who finished second in 12.81, with fellow American Kellie Wells (13.06) third.
"It's relief more than anything. I came into this meeting a bit tired," Pearson said.
The 24-year-old Queenslander has kept up a hectic schedule even after running a stunning 12.28 - the fourth fastest time in history and fastest in 19 years - to claim the world title in South Korea 11 days earlier.
The latest victory in Croatia followed a hurdles win at the Weltklasse in Zurich and a rare second placing when switching to the 100m flat in Rieti, Italy.
Pearson has one more big race left this weekend, with a glittering prize at stake, before returning home For a well earned rest.
She can complete an unbeaten season over hurdles with victory in the final Diamond League meet in Brussels on Sunday morning (AEST).
Pearson leads the Diamond League 100m hurdles standings by just one point from American Danielle Carruthers. A win will clinch the Diamond Race and, with it, another $50,000 and a diamond trophy.
Also in Zagreb, Usain Bolt made a cautious start in his first 100 metres since his disqualification at the world championships last month, and still ended up winning in a season-best 9.85 seconds.
Bolt, who false-started in Daegu to end his hopes of defending his world title, shaved 0.03 seconds off his previous fastest time this year - 9.88 at Monaco in June - on a warm, still night.
"It was a poor start," said Bolt, the world and Olympic record-holder. "I kind of lost concentration and just went through the line. It was OK, I suppose, but I could have done better, especially with the weather like that."
Kim Collins of Saint Kitts and Nevis ran a season-best 10.01 seconds to finish second, ahead of Trinidad's Richard Thompson at 10.03.
In the men's 110 hurdles, Cuba's world record holder Dayron Robles beat world champion Jason Richardson for the second race in a row.
Robles finished first at the world championships but was disqualified for impeding Liu Xiang of China, giving Richardson of the US the gold.
Richardson, who was also beaten by Robles at the Weltklasse in Zurich last week, set a personal best of 13.04 seconds, but Robles won in 13.00.
Carmelita Jeter claimed the women's 100 in 11.00. The American was pushed hard to the line by Schillonie Calvert of Jamaica, who finished in 11.13, with Bulgaria's Ivet Lalova third in 11.33.
Calvert won the 200, setting a personal best to clock 22.55 ahead of fellow Jamaican Sherone Simpson in 22.95 and Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie of the Bahamas in 22.97.
LaShawn Merritt of the United States claimed the men's 400 in 45.20 seconds after a slow start, finishing ahead of compatriot Greg Nixon (45.73) and Trinidad's Renny Quow (45.95).
Jamaica's Novlene Williams Mills set a meet record of 50.31 seconds to win the women's 400.