It was mission accomplished for Sally Pearson on leg two of the Australian’s bid to become only the second back-to-back winner of the event at the IAAF World Indoor Championships.
Seeking to emulate USA's Lolo Jones, Pearson was again first to the opening barrier in her semi-final and produced another flawless display of hurdling en route to a decisive victory in 7.81, just 0.02 shy of her season’s best set in Berlin seven days ago.
In the wake of the Olympic champion, the fight for the other two spots in the final later on Saturday was a tight affair.
Olympic long jump bronze medallist Janay DeLoach Soukoup of the USA edged out Britain’s Tiffany Porter, the 2013 World Championships bronze medallist, for second place, both women clocking 7.93.
Germany’s Cindy Roleder claimed the fourth spot in 7.96, juts 0.01 ahead of Italy’s Marzia Caravelli.
US champion Nia Ali led from gun to tape in the second semi-final, winning in 7.88. However, France’s Cindy Billaud fought hard to get on level terms and finished just 0.01 behind.
German Nadine Hildebrand grabbed third in 7.96 and Russia’s Yuliya Kondakova snatched the final qualifying spot, clocking a season’s best of 8.03, 0.02 ahead of Slovenia’s Marina Tomic.
Simon Turnbull for the IAAF