Sally Pearson retires over injuries hurdle

Australia’s greatest modern-day track and field athlete Sally Pearson has announced her retirement due to a devastating run of injuries.

Aug 06, 2019, updated Aug 06, 2019
Olympic gold medallist Sally Pearson says a run of injuries has ended her athletics career. Photo: AAP/Dean Lewins

Olympic gold medallist Sally Pearson says a run of injuries has ended her athletics career. Photo: AAP/Dean Lewins

Pearson, 32, won gold in the 100m hurdles at the 2012 London Olympics and is a two-time world champion.

She had hoped to end her career in spectacular style next year at the Tokyo Olympics, only for her body to let her down once again.

I’m going to hang up my spikes,” the 32-year-old told the Seven Network on Tuesday morning.

“It’s been 16 years on the Australian team and it’s my body is just not up to it.

“When you count six injuries this year that no one knows about, and another whole year to go of training for the Olympics to try and win gold I have major doubts that my body will make it, and I don’t know if want to put myself through that again.”

Pearson missed the 2015 world championship and 2016 Rio Olympics due to injury, before making one of Australian sport’s great comebacks in 2017 when she coached herself to gold at the world titles in London.

But the injury curse struck again the following year, with a serious achilles problem forcing her to pull out of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

“2018 was horrible with my achilles and not being able to run at my hometown Commonwealth Games was devastating,” she said.

“I just don’t think that’s fair to do that to myself and my body as well.”

Pearson said she had suffered half a dozen injuries in 2019 alone to her quad, calf, hamstring, knee and achilles.

“My right quad tore so that put me out for about 10 days of modified training,” she said.

“Then on the 3rd of March I tore my calf and that put me out for probably six weeks.

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“I came back and ran really quite well in Japan and then had a hamstring tendinopathy for another six weeks and then had my knee injected to help that recover to get over the hurdle because I couldn’t even hurdle with my knee.

“Then a week later I tore my hamstring the day I was supposed to go to Europe to start racing.

“And then probably a week to three weeks after that my achilles started to flare up again.”


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