Former Olympic 100m Hurdles Champion, Sally Pearson, retires

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Sally Pearson, London 2012 Olympic Gold medalist in the 100m hurdles and Australian sporting hero, has retired.

Pearson announced on Instagram that after 16 years in the sport she was retiring after struggling in recent years with persistent injuries. Described as one of Australia's greatest athletes Pearson is also a two-time World Champion and was hoping to defend her world title in Doha this autumn.

Pearson holds the Olympic record of 12.35 secs for the 100m hurdles and is currently fourth in the all-time list for the discipline. 

The 32-year-old told a media conference in Sydney that, despite her best efforts to be fit for Tokyo 2020, battling six injuries to her quad, calf, hamstring, knee and Achilles in 2019 alone has prevented her from reaching full fitness.

“It’s been 16 years on the Australian team and my body is just not up to it. When you count six injuries this year that no one knows about and another whole year to go of training for the Olympics to try and win gold, I have major doubts that my body will make it and I don’t know if want to put myself through that again... I have prided myself on always being on the start line ready to win. I no longer believe I can achieve this," she said. 

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Injuries prevented Pearson from defending her London 2012 title at the Rio Olympics in 2016 and competing at her home Commonwealth Games in 2018 on the Gold Coast. However, she was able to stage an impressive and unexpected comeback in 2017 at the World Championships in London and claimed gold once again as a rank outsider.

Pearson retires from athletics as one of Australia's most celebrated athletes and will be written into the country's history books alongside greats of the sport like Cathy Freeman and Steve Hooker. 

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