With five of the current world top ten performers in the field here at the IAAF / VTB Continental Cup, the women’s 100m Hurdles was expected to be a close race and so it proved as only three hundredths of a second separated first from third places!
While Teams of Americas and Europe are currently in close contention for the Overall Trophy, it was Australian and Oceania champion Sally Pearson who got the nod after the photo-finish judges declared her the winner this afternoon with just a single hundredth of a second to spare over World Indoor champion Lolo Jones of the US.
The 2008 Olympic silver medallist and a prominent figure on the one-day meeting circuit, Pearson blasted out of the blocks after athletes were recalled following a faulty start leaving the rest of the field playing catch up.
The Americas duo of Jones and former World Indoor and Outdoor champion Perdita Felicien proved to be the strongest in this field as they ate up on Pearson, Jones on the outside and Felicien from the inside.
As they dipped to the line both Pearson and Jones seemed unsecure as to who would be presented with the winner’s flowers both looking at the screen – it didn’t take too long for the final result to come up: Pearson 12.65; Jones 12.66 with Felicien third in 12.68.
Team Europe was most certainly expecting a little more from this event but Nevin Yanit of Turkey and Derval O’Rourke of Ireland were never actually a factor. The European champion and silver medallist clocked 12.84 and 12.99 in fourth and fifth respectively.
Pearson, who placed fourth at the 2006 World Cup in Athens, aged 19 became the first Oceania athlete ever to win the 100m Hurdles in this event and bagged a 30,000$ reward for her showing.
“I’m really excited,” she commented. “I came here to win and I did it. I’m going home with 30,000$ and since I’m looking for a new house, it’s a good day’s work, it will help me.”
Jones said: "I'm pretty happy with the result since I only had like five hours of sleep last night, I didn't know if I'd be able to run today. I'm pleased I was able to step up for the team and perform well despite the sickness. I'm looking forward to next year, this season leaves me with a lot of fire, I have a lot of goals left to accomplish."
Laura Arcoleo for the IAAF