Australia's Sally Pearson, left, and United States' Kendra Harrison in the semi-final of the 60m hurdles.
Australia's Sally Pearson, left, and United States' Kendra Harrison in the semi-final of the 60m hurdles. Alastair Grant

Pearson out but has one eye on the Games

SALLY Pearson says she was better for the run after failing to reach the final of the women's 60m hurdles at the world indoor championships.

The 31-year-old finished third in her semi-final, but her time was not quick enough to qualify.

Despite the setback Pearson was philosophical and reiterated her comments from earlier in the week that she had one eye on the Commonwealth Games in her home city.

"For me it was about coming here to get this quality racing before the Commonwealth Games, which I just can't get in Australia,” Pearson said.

It was the 2012 Olympic and reigning world 100m hurdles champion Pearson's worst performance at a major event since she finished seventh at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.

The warning signs for 31-year-old were clear on Friday when she finished second in her heat to young Nigerian Tobi Amusan, who she'll face again next month at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.

Pearson started well but was run down in the final five metres by Germany's Cindy Roleder, who finished behind world record holder Kendra Harrison.

American trio Harrison, Christina Manning and Sharika Nelvis filled three of the top four qualifying spots with Nadine Visser chalking up a Dutch record to be third fastest.

There was also disappointment in the 60m hurdles for Michelle Jenneke who finished seventh in her semi-final.

Ryan Gregson also crashed out in the semi-finals of the 1500m.

He ran well in a red-hot field and kicked hard in the final 80m but was unable to haul in Ethopia's Samuel Tefera and Kenya's Vincent Kibet.

The New South Welshman was the eighth-fastest finisher overall and his time of 3:44.44 would have comfortably earned him a top-two spot in the third heat and a place in Sunday's final.

"I didn't run that poorly, it's just cut-throat, when the top two automatically qualify for the final,” Gregson said.

"I was unfortunate that it panned out that way. I did what I wanted to do, I put myself in a position, but those guys are very good.

"Vincent Kibet beat me last week in Glasgow and the Ethiopian is one of the fastest in the world this year.

"I nearly pulled it off but it was not to be.

"I know it was only a heat, but if I can put myself consistently in the top three of every race then I'll be getting there.”

Victorian shot putter Damien Birkenhead also struggled, finishing last in a 16-strong field.

Birkinhead posted a disappointing effort of 19.11 - way short of the 21.35 personal best he set last year in Zagreb.

New Zealand world champion Tom Walsh took gold thanks to a championship-record throw of 22.31.

However, there was some positive news for sprint hurdler Nick Hough who recorded a personal best of 7.76 to book a semi-final spot.

Highly rated 20-year-old pole vaulter Kurtis Marschall is also in action on the final day of competition.


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