Pearson vows to return after injury heartache

HOPES DASHED: Australian Olympic athlete Sally Pearson during her press conference at the Runaway Bay Athletics Centre on the Gold Coast.
HOPES DASHED: Australian Olympic athlete Sally Pearson during her press conference at the Runaway Bay Athletics Centre on the Gold Coast. DAVE HUNT

ATHLETICS: A defiant Sally Pearson says she has more to give despite being forced to pull out of the Olympic Games in Rio with a torn hamstring.

Pearson fronted the media on the Gold Coast today and said she believed she would be still be able to return to her best after recovering from the injury.

“Definitely,” the 29-year-old said when asked if she could get back to performing at the highest level. “I know what type of athlete I am.

“I know what I’m capable of as an athlete and I don’t think that I’ve reached my peak. I think that I’m capable of a lot more.”

Pearson said that while she was disappointed about not being able to defend her 100m hurdles crown in Rio, she had plenty to look forward to and would now focus on the Commonwealth Games in her home city of the Gold Coast in 2018.

“It’s still two years away,” she said.

“We also have a world athletics championships next year in London. So it just depends on how this hamstring goes. I have to give it time, let my body rest.

“I’ve been making the Australian team for the last 13 years, so I have to give my body this time to rest and recover.

“There’s not many chances that you get to run at a major championships 10minutes up the road from your house.

“I’m really looking forward to that chance to be able to do that.”

Pearson said the hamstring injury that cruelled her chances of making the Olympics came without warning.

“Why couldn’t it have happened after the Olympics?” she lamented.

“I only needed seven weeks and three days or whatever to finish my races at the Olympics.

“But this is a thing that no one can control.

“No matter who you are, you can’t control what your body wants to do and unfortunately it just gave in.

“There was no awareness, no signs that this was going to happen.

“So that’s probably the most frustrating thing.”

Pearson had endured an interrupted preparation ahead of the Games and only returned to competition earlier this month after year out with a broken and dislocated wrist following a fall in a Diamond League race.

The 2012 Olympic champion had also been dealing with calf and achilles tendon problems and was back on the Gold Coast for sprint training in an attempt to improve her times ahead of Rio when the hamstring injury occurred.

“It was just like a grab, two grabs in my hamstring that I felt (at the time) were very, very minor,” she said.

“I’ve done my hamstring quite a few times before and I knew what it was at the time.

“But then that night I had scans on it and it showed it was actually a lot worse than what I originally thought it was going to be, only because of the area that it’s in.

“It’s in the tendon and tendons in any part of the body are hard to get back from and they do require a lot of patience and time and care if I’m going to get back to training and be fit and healthy.”

Topics:  rio2016 sally pearson

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