Pearson puts behind coach controversy to win 100M hurdles

Pearson puts behind coach controversy to win 100M hurdles

After a week of controversy surrounding a feud with her coach, Australia's Sally Pearson felt the weight of the world lifted from her shoulders as she raced to 100 metres hurdles gold at the Commonwealth Games on Friday.

The 27-year-old was criticised by Eric Hollingsworth on Wednesday after the Australia head coach condemned the Olympic champion's decision to miss a pre-tournament training camp with her team mates in Glasgow in favour of racing in London.

But after Hollingsworth was suspended by Athletics Australia, a worry-free Pearson stormed to victory at Hampden Park in 12.67 seconds, adding to the Commonwealth gold she won in Dehli four years ago.

"It was a bit of a burden and a bit of negative energy that I didn't need before my race," Pearson told reporters. "Everyone said stop thinking about it but you can't, it's always going to be there.”

Pearson and Hollingsworth had been at loggerheads since the former British decathlete was critical of her second-place finish in the 60 metres hurdles at the world indoor championships in Poland in March.

It was the second time in less than 12 months that Pearson had failed to successfully defend a world title, following a silver medal at the 2013 world championships in Moscow.
Despite the uncertainty surrounding Hollingsworth's future, Pearson said her Australian team mates were much happier now he was no longer in Glasgow.

"Our whole room was very excited," she added. "That's really disappointing for a high performance coach to give so much relief to athletes when you walk out the door.
"To get rid of the negativity that people have been having to bear is very disappointing. It is very exciting and we can lift as a team."