Sport Comment: Has Sally gone past Cathy as our best ever?

15:56  13 august  2017
15:56  13 august  2017 Source:   Wide World of Sports

Gold medal for Pearson in hurdles at WC

  Gold medal for Pearson in hurdles at WC Australian Sally Pearson has won the gold medal in the 100m hurdles at the world athletics championships in London.Australia's Sally Pearson has capped an extraordinary comeback from injury by winning gold in the 100m hurdles at the world athletics championships.

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Pearson's three major titles came at the 2012 London Olympics and the 2011 and 2017 world championships.© Mustafa Yalcin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images Pearson's three major titles came at the 2012 London Olympics and the 2011 and 2017 world championships. For any number of reasons, Cathy Freeman's triumph in the 400m at the 2000 Sydney Olympics arguably stands alone in the annals of Australian track and field history.

Having lit the cauldron at the opening ceremony, Freeman carried the hopes of a nation to victory.

That she was the first indigenous athlete to win individual gold at Olympic level only added to the significance of her triumph.

Freeman's place as an all-time Australian sporting great is unchallenged - and it always will be.

Pearson cruises through to hurdles semis

  Pearson cruises through to hurdles semis Sally Pearson has eased into the semi-finals of the women's 100m hurdles at the world athletics championships. Pearson, the 2012 Olympic gold medallist and 2013 world champion, clocked a winning time of 12.72 seconds.Also through to the semis on Friday night (early Saturday AEST) are world record holder Kendra Harrison (12.60) and fellow Americans Dawn Harper-Nelson and Nia Ali. © AP Photo/Martin Meissner Australia's Sally Pearson competes in a women's 100m hurdles first round heat during the World Athletics Championships in London.

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But in winning gold in the 100m hurdles at the world titles in London on Saturday night, Sally Pearson can now lay claim to an even better record than Freeman in her favoured event at global championships.

Pearson's three major titles came at the 2012 London Olympics and the 2011 and 2017 world championships.

Freeman's three 400m titles were at the Sydney Olympics and the 1997 and 1999 world championships.

This Goose Loves Nothing More than Downing Pints at the Local Pub

  This Goose Loves Nothing More than Downing Pints at the Local Pub "He can fly but he doesn't bother," Jack's owner said.Jack, the Chinese gray gander, is often spotted downing a pint at the local pub with his owners Sally Eynon, 45, and Keith Burgess, 58, in Shropshire, England.

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But Pearson has also won two major silver medals, while Freeman only has the one.

For the first time, a good case can be made that the 30-year-old Pearson is Australia's greatest track and field athlete of the modern era.

Another interesting comparison is with the great Betty Cuthbert, who died earlier this month aged 79.

In the amateur era before the world championships, Cuthbert won four Olympic track gold medals in four different events.

Cuthbert is the only track and field athlete - male or female - to win Olympic titles in the 100m, 200m and 400m.

While loath to compared athletes from different eras, Australian head coach Craig Hilliard declared Pearson deserved to be ranked right up with the greatest modern Australian track athletes.

"You couldn't help getting emotional with just the whole build-up and what she's done in the last few weeks," he said.

"She's an incredibly steely competitor to do what she's done.

"A lot of athletes and coaches could take a leaf out of her book.

"It's hard to compare eras, I don't think you can, and it would be stupid of me to do that. You can't.

"Betty Cuthbert was a freak in herself.

"But in the current era she's right up there with the best, there's no question about that."

Hilliard said Pearson had made a big statement with her slick semi-final time of 12.53 seconds on Friday - six hundredths of a second faster than she ran in the final.

"Then it was like - don't change anything, just repeat what you have done," he said.

"She warmed up really well and she was just controlled in everything she did.

"She's like Cathy Freeman, she finds another ten per cent.

"She's just a classic athlete who finds another level."

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