LONDON, England (AFP) — Australian Sally Pearson held her nerve to win the women's 100m hurdles with a powerful dipping finish yesterday and give her country a welcome boost in the medals table.
The reigning World champion clocked an Olympic record of 12.35 seconds, edging Beijing Olympic gold medallist Dawn Harper of the United States, who timed a personal best of 12.37.
American Kellie Wells claimed bronze in 12.48.
"I don't even know how to describe it because it's like a dream right now," said Pearson, who has been based in Britain for the last six weeks to escape the pressure in Australia.
"I am feeling relief, that's the first thing and now I am just in shock.
"It's a matter of going through the emotions and realising what I have just done tonight.
"I really wanted this tonight, I've worked so hard for the last two years. My goals were last year to win the World Champs and this year to win the Olympic Games and I've done that and I couldn't be happier."
Pearson's victory was Australia's first track and field gold of the London Games, coming a day after Mitchell Watt claimed a silver in the men's long jump, with Steve Hooker still to go in the men's pole vault.