Sally Pearson of Australia competes in the women's 100 metres hurdles semi finals (Getty Images) © Copyright
Report Daegu, Korea

Women's 100m Hurdles - Semi-Final - Pearson blazes 12.36 Area record

World leader Sally Pearson produced a vintage performance in her 100m Hurdles semi-final when running a blistering new Oceania Area record of 12.36 which spreadeagled her shell shocked rivals.

Pearson running the perfect race and ahead at the first barrier after rising quickly from her blocks, just got quicker and quicker as her speedy legs burnt the track and her immaculate technique carried her perfectly over the 10 flights of hurdles.

The 2008 Olympic silver medallist who set her previous lifetime best of 12.48 in the much harsher weather of Birmingham, England  seven weeks ago, moved to joint fifth all-time alongside Grazyna Rabsztyn of Poland who set her mark 31 years earlier.

The Aussie's pace left her rivals fighting for the other automatic qualifying spot and it was the USA's reigning Olympic champion Dawn Harper who grabbed it in 12.74. Just 0.02sec behind her Tatyana Dektyareva of Russia went through with a personal best.

Kellie Wells expected to be Pearson's main rival for the gold medal will before the final gets underway will be reliving the moment when with victory seemingly in the bag, she heavily struck the cross bar of the ninth hurdle which brought her almost to a halt.

Fortunately the American's momentum in lane four helped carry her forward but the collision did significantly stop her allowing Phylicia George of Canada to snatch victory in 12.73.

Wells the early World leader and making her Championships debut and visibly tense before the start of the semi, went through as an automatic qualifier in 12.79.

The final heat was dominated by Tiffany Porter who striding confidently over the hurdles lowered her British record by a healthyy  0.04sec to 12.56 well clear of the highly rated American Danielle Carruthers who clocked 12.65.

Behind the pair was Nikkita Holder of Canada who after lowering her personal best in the heats did it again recording 12.84. That eyeballs effort progressed her into the final as a fastest loser with Dektyarena.

Defending champion Brigitte Foster-Hylton was fourth in this final heat and with neither Priscilla Lopes-Schliep nor Delloreen Ennis-London the silver and bronze medallists taking part this year, a new trio of podium finishers will be crowned later on Saturday night.

David Martin for the IAAF