Australia’s Olympic hurdling champion Sally Pearson says a change in coach has led to her having genuine fun for the first time in her track career.
For the first time in her decorated athletics career, Sally Pearson is having fun.
The Olympic 100 metre hurdles champion says her change of coach has brought a change in attitude.
“I love it and I have fun – I know I always said that in the past, but now I genuinely mean it within myself,” Pearson said on Friday.
“I have always loved it, but I don’t whether I actually had fun doing it.”
Pearson split from her long-time coach Sharon Hannan last October, ending a wildly-successful 14-year partnership.
The Queenslander said her new coach, former training partner Antony Drinkwater-Newman, was rejuvenating.
“I’m taking a different spin on how I approach the sport now and the reasons why I do it,” Pearson said.
“I have taken a lot of pressure off myself, which is probably the main thing that I have noticed over the last 20 weeks that I have been training with my new coach.
“I have been able to train with less intensity … I’m having a lot more fun now and I’m having a lot more freedom with the program.”
Pearson’s Australian season continues at the Adelaide Track Classic on Saturday, but there won’t be a rematch with sprint rival Mel Breen, who has skipped the meet.
Breen broke the Australian record in a 100m heat, clocking 11.11 seconds, and then defeated Pearson by 0.12s in the final last Sunday in Canberra.
“I remember last Sunday when I raced her, being so excited with how I ran and how we pushed each other,” Pearson said.
“I had the biomechanist look over it and the times were level 60 metres. And then obviously I ran out of puff and couldn’t go any faster.”
Pearson believed she could eclipse Breen’s new record mark.
“It definitely is achievable but you have got to remember, I’m a hurdler,” she said.
“A lot of my technique is based around getting over 10 flights (hurdles) in a 100 metre race, so there’s a lot of technical things we do differently.
“I don’t focus my sessions on sprinting … I train on getting over the hurdles and getting out of the blocks differently than a sprinter. So sometimes it’s hard for me to switch over in the starting blocks to come out like Melissa does.”