Pearson blitzes field in hurdles heat

Sally Pearson opened her London campaign with a dominant win in her women's 100m hurdles heat.



Australian gold medal hopeful Sally Pearson opened her London campaign with a dominant win in her women's 100m hurdles heat on Tuesday.

The world champion and Beijing silver medallist started a little slower than she would have liked but blew away the field to finish in 12.57 seconds to advance to the semi-finals.

Pearson said she was relieved to get her first run out of the way.

"I was nervous about the first race. There's no more work to do, this is it," she said.

"Tomorrow is another day at the office.

"I'm through to the semi-final round now.

"I want to get it done and dusted."

Pearson's coach Sharon Hannan admitted she too was nervous leading up to her pupil's first appearance in London.

"If she does not get a little bit nervous before a race then you do not have that extra quality called adrenalin," Hannan said.

"So if she does not get a little but anxious she is not fired up and not ready, so I would be a bit a concerned if she wasn't.

"It was really important that she got that run today and she got the feel for a full flight of hurdles."

Defending Olympic champion Dawn Harper also qualified for the semi-finals with a run of 12.75, coming second in her heat.

Fellow American Lolo Jones ran a 12.68 to book her spot in the semis, but Jamaican star Bridgitte Foster-Hylton broke hurdle number five and bowed out of the race in their heat.

To the crowd's dismay, there was no Jessica Ennis, the recently-crowned heptathlon gold medallist having opted out of the individual hurdles despite running a blistering 12.54sec en route to winning the mutli-discipline event.

Two other Australian women qualified for semi-finals, when Kaila McKnight and Zoe Buckman advanced in their 1,500m heats.

Buckman, who finished eighth in her heat, ran a 4:07.83 and qualified by performance, while McKnight's fifth placing was good enough to get her through to the semis on placing.

Fellow Aussie Jeff Riseley was not so lucky, finishing fifth in his 800m heat in a time of 1:46.99.