Australia’s Sally Pearson took 100m hurdles gold from reigning champion Dawn Harper with a new Olympic record of 12.35 seconds.
LONDON -Sally Pearson (AUS) won the 100m hurdles in style, setting a new Olympic record and, in doing so, gave Australia it’s first track and field gold of the 2012 Olympics. “It’s a dream,” she told reporters. “Relief was the first thing I felt and then shock. I’m just going through the emotions. I really wanted this.”
Defending champion Dawn Harper took silver in 12.37 and Kellie Wells won bronze in 12.48, both athletes running personal bests.
One of the sport’s most highly anticipated finals, the 100m hurdles played out in spectacular fashion, pitting the defending gold medalist, Harper, against the heavily favored world champion, Sally Pearson of Australia. At the gun, Wells got out well, matching Pearson of Australia. Harper and Lolo Jones (Baton Rouge, La.) followed.
Harper soon found her form and looked strong as Pearson edged into the lead. Harper was closing on the Aussie over the final hurdle, but Pearson made it to the finish line first in an Olympic-record time of 12.35. Harper ran nearly two-tenths of a second faster than her 2008 Olympic gold medal performance to win silver in a personal best of 12.37. Harper’s time is the best mark ever for any second place finisher in the 100m hurdles and ties her with Joanna Hayes as the second-fastest American in history, behind Gail Devers. Keeping her composure and finishing strong, Kellie Wells (Orlando, Fla.) rounded out the podium in a personal-best time of 12.48m.
Jones ran a season best as she took fourth in 12.58. “I’m just kind of in shock right now” Jones said. “I didn’t keep it together. At least this time it was a clean race. It was my season best but obviously I am crushed. I struggled with maintenance (of my body) all year. I am not going to blame it on injuries but I obviously wasn’t as healthy.”
Earlier in the evening, Harper had set a personal best in handily winning her heat in 12.46. Jones was the fastest qualifier on time, placing third in heat 2 in 12.71, and Wells won heat 3 in a then-season best of 12.51.
100m Hurdles Final Results