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01st-Jul-2016

Pearson not retiring, aims for 2018 Commonwealths

By AFP, Sydney

Australia's Olympic hurdles champion Sally Pearson said Thursday she was looking ahead to the 2018 Commonwealth Games and was not considering retirement after pulling out of Rio with a hamstring injury.
The 29-year-old, who won 100 metres hurdles gold at London in 2012, has struggled with injuries in recent years and returned to Australia's Gold Coast for intensive fitness work ahead of the August Games.
Pearson said while training, she felt "two grabs in my hamstring" that scans later showed was in her tendon, forcing her to withdraw from the Rio Olympics as she "can't give my all".
But the Australian, who shattered her wrist last June and developed an Achilles tendon problem earlier this year, said she was not was contemplating retirement.
"I'm not just going to give up because I have an injury. You can't go into a sport, any sport in the world, and expect not to be injured or get injured and have disappointing times," Pearson told reporters in the Gold Coast.
"This is a low time for me and it has been for a few years with different injuries, but I've always bounced back, I've always come back stronger and fitter and faster and achieved amazing things still through adversity."
The Australian track and field team captain said she needed to give her body time to recover, but added that "hopefully the Commonwealth Games in 2018" at home on the Gold Coast would be on the cards.
"For me personally as an athlete there's not many chances that you get to run at a major championships 10 minutes up the road from your house," she said.  "I'm really looking forward to that chance to be able to do that. I think it'll be pretty special."
Pearson, who won hurdles silver at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2011 World Championships gold in Daegu, said she was not sure if Rio was her last chance of competing at the Olympics.  "I don't know. I'm only 29 so track and field athletes can go on for a bit longer but at this stage I'm only looking forward to 2018," she said.
"I know what I'm capable of as an athlete and I don't think that I've reached my peak yesterday. I think that I'm capable of a lot more," she added.