Pearson has more in the tank
The West Australian
February 10, 2012,
Coach believes best is yet to come for Sally Pearson.
The coach of hurdling star Sally Pearson believes the world champion will not reach her peak for another three years.
Pearson arrived in Perth yesterday to contest the 100m hurdles and the 100m sprint tomorrow night at the WA Athletics Stadium at Mt Claremont.
Coach Sharon Hannan is frustrated over the European athletics calendar in the lead-in to the London Olympic Games because it prevents the Australian from replicating the schedule followed in the gold medal success at the IAAF world championships in Daegu, South Korea, last September.
Hannan, who along with husband Peter has mentored Pearson for more than a decade, is adamant the 25-year-old's best is still ahead.
"I don't think Sal's hit her peak yet. And based on where she's come from, I think she may not reach her peak till 27 or 28," Hannan said.
While seven of the premier 100m hurdlers are American, Pearson dominated the event last year and remains the fourth youngest in the top 10 - but the younger athletes are not within cooee of the times set by the Australian.
Hannan is seeking an event outside the major lead-in meetings for Pearson following her first competition in the European summer, the Diamond League in Oslo on June 7.
"At the moment we have only three meets; we're searching for a fourth," Hannan said.
"We thought we really had a good competition program last year with the four meets, with a minimum of 13 days apart.
"Last year we agreed on less racing and more time in between. It worked really well and we wanted to go in with the exact same program this year because it proved a winning formula."
Hannan is looking to fill the gap after Oslo and the next big meeting in Paris on July 6.
"She has a meet in Oslo in early June and then nothing till Paris in early July, and London one week later," the coach said.
"That means two big meets within a week, and London will have heats, so that's three races in eight days.
"It's not what we were hoping for but that's the cards we have been dealt. We want the same three weeks off competition leading into the Games as we had in Daegu.
"Everyone thinks she is going to do Monaco (July 20), but Monaco's only two weeks before (the Games). If something went a little awry and we didn't get those races beforehand we probably would consider Monaco, but only if she was short a race."
Hannan has earmarked the Belgium nationals in the third week of June as a possible meeting to fill the void.
While Pearson will run in the 100m sprint tomorrow night, generally she has dismissed suggestions that she will permanently adopt the event on the international stage.