Sally Pearson won her 100m hurdles heat. Picture: AAP
Sally Pearson won her 100m hurdles heat. Picture: AAP

Pearson gives up on 10th national hurdles title

SALLY Pearson has sensationally withdrawn from the national championships after pulling up "buggered" following a below-par return to the track.

The Olympic champion decided to abort her quest for a 10th national 100m hurdles title after struggling through the heat run on Sunday which she won in a disappointing time of 12.99sec.

Pearson revealed afterwards she felt as if she'd run an 800m race in what was her first hurdles race in 14 months.

"That race was hard, it was super hard and I don't know why," she said.

"It just felt like I had run an 800, that's what it felt like. I felt buggered.

"I was over-heating, my legs felt like lead, I just needed to get out of there and went straight to the doc at the warm-up track and just had a chat.

"We discussed all the options and this was the decision unfortunately."

As the defending champion Pearson is already guaranteed a spot at the Doha world championships in October.

Pearson was all smiles before her heat. Picture: AAP
Pearson was all smiles before her heat. Picture: AAP

The 2012 Olympic champion is being particularly cautious given she has spent the past 14 months recovering from an achilles injury which forced her out of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

"I'm really disappointed but I'm actually going to listen my body this year and when it's down and can't move, I've got to listen to it and move onto the next race," Pearson said.

"A lot of that 14 months was rehab, trying to get back into training again and then from about October-November I was trying to get fast again.

"And then the first race, it's all happened in a very short amount of time to get back to 100 per cent and my body is just saying 'Don't do it. You don't need to now'.

"I've got six more months until the world championships and at the end of the day you have to respect your body and that's what I'm doing at the moment."

Pearson, 32, spoke in the lead-up to the national championships that she wanted to make a statement to her overseas rivals by producing something of note in her return.

Despite the setback, the two-time world champion is sticking to her schedule which includes a short tour of Japan, leaving on April 18.