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Day Eight: Former champs Pearson & Stevens take stage

Friday, 11 August 2017 | Athletics Australia



2011 world champion Sally Pearson (Qld) takes centre stage at the London world championships in the stadium she won her Olympic 100m hurdles title five years ago.

The 30-year-old is back in fine form and capable of winning a medal in the English capital after clocking her fastest time since she won Olympic gold in Stratford in 2012.

Her season’s best is the 12.48 she ran for second behind world record holder Kendra Harrison (USA) at the city’s Diamond League meeting last month.

Pearson has a good record at the world championships winning the 2011 title in Daegu and a second place finish two years later in Moscow, either side of her Olympic glory.

At the sixth world championships of her career Pearson will meet 2008 Olympic champion Dawn Harper Nelson (USA) in her heat.

The hurdler from the United States is one of four other women who have a season’s best under the 13-second mark.

Hanging out with the Puma family today 😊 #foreverfaster #puma

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Michelle Jenneke (NSW) also features in the heats of the 100m hurdles after she was offered a roll down invitation by the IAAF with a season’s best just a hundredth of a second slower than the qualifying mark of 12.98.

Dani Stevens (NSW) will be the second Australian with a world title to feature on day eight of the championships, competing in qualifying of the women’s discus throw.

The 29-year-old who won gold in 2009 has thrown her season’s best of 66.78m twice this year, not far off her personal best of 67.99m, which is just 73 centimetres behind Daniela Costian’s national record.

An Olympic title is the only thing missing in Stevens’ trophy cabinet and her motivation levels are only higher at this stage of her career after her fourth place finish at the Rio Games last year.

Taryn Gollshewsky (Qld) will join Stevens in the other discus qualifying group with a season’s best of 59.94m set in Brisbane.

The athlete from Bundaberg is a finalist from the 2014 Commonwealth Games, world youth championships and Summer Universiade. Gollshewsky will head to Taipei after the championships in London to wear the green and gold again at the 2017 Summer Universiade.

Two-time national champion and Olympian Brooke Stratton (Vic) is set to compete in the women's long jump final at the world championships on Day 8.

The 24-year-old placed seventh at the Rio Olympics last year and made a relative strong leap of 6.46m in qualifying to make the final in wet and dreary conditions. 

United States athlete and defending world champion Tianna Bartoletta will be one of the favourites for the gold medal along with compatriot Brittney Reese.

Darya Klishina, competing as an Authorised Neutral Athlete, showed good form in qualifying that gave competitors a challenge in wet conditions.

Only three women in the final have a personal best better than Stratton’s national record of 7.05m.

Genevieve LaCaze (Vic) qualified for the 3000m steeplechase final in just her second race over the hurdles this season after battling foot injuries for much of the European season.

The national record holder who placed ninth at the Olympics last year ran strongly in the heats clocking 9:27.53 and finishing with the lead group.

A commanding run from Luke Mathews (Vic) to win the third heat of the 1500m yesterday qualified him for the semi-finals which also take place on Day 8 of the championships.

He finished strongly and made an effort to get the win crossing the line in 3:38.19 making him the second Australian to make the semi-finals along with Jordan Williamsz (Vic).

The green and gold debutant Williamsz ran 3:46.11 in the first heat, which turned out to be the slowest, straining to the line to nab the last auto-qualifying spot from his heat.

He out-leaned two-time Olympic 3000m steeplechase silver medallist Mahiedine Mekhissi (FRA) by just six hundredths of a second for that sixth position.

Australian decathlete Cedric Dubler (Qld) has a busy day in London competing in the 100m, long jump, shot put, high jump and the 400m.

The reigning two-time national champion and silver medallist from the world junior championships in 2014 placed 14th at the Rio Olympics last year with 8024 points.