Olympics Summer

Aussie Sally Pearson wins women's 100m hurdles

Sally Pearson provided a rare bright spot for Australia at the London Games, earning the country's fourth gold medal by edging defending champion Dawn Harper of the U.S. to win the 100-metre hurdles in an Olympics-record 12.35 seconds Tuesday night.
A jubilant Sally Pearson of Australia celebrates after winning the women's 100-metre hurdles final on Tuesday in London. (Lee Jin-man/Associated Press)

Sally Pearson provided a rare bright spot for Australia at the London Games, earning the country's fourth gold medal by edging defending champion Dawn Harper of the U.S. to win the 100-metre hurdles in an Olympics-record 12.35 seconds Tuesday night.

Under a steady rain, Pearson barely crossed the line ahead of Harper, who was clocked in 12.37. The U.S. also took the bronze, with Kellie Wells finishing in 12.48.

Lolo Jones, the favourite who fell at the ninth of 10 hurdles four years ago, was fourth Tuesday in 12.58.

It took several seconds for the scoreboard at Olympic Stadium to display the final results, with Pearson and Harper both staring and waiting. When Pearson's named appeared first, she let out a yell, then dropped to her knees and fell on her back.

"Relief was the first thing I felt and then shock," Pearson said.

Phylicia George, of Markham, Ont., finished sixth in 12.65 and London, Ont., hurdler Jessica Zelinka placed seventh at 12.69.

German grabs Olympic discus title

Robert Harting of Germany added the Olympic discus title to his two world championship golds, beating Ehsan Hadadi of Iran into silver.

Defending champion Gerd Kanter of Estonia took bronze.

Harting, who ripped off his shirt in celebration, threw 68.27 metres for victory and extended his unbeaten record, which stretches back to August 2010.

Hadadi, who finished third at the 2011 world championships, finished with a throw of 68.18 and Kanter threw 68.03.

Second chance pays off for Algeria's Makhloufi

First they told him to leave. Then they invited him back. Next they'll give him the gold.

Kicked out of the London Olympics for presumably not trying hard enough in another event, Algeria's Taoufik Makhloufi got a second chance after a doctor took his side.

Back at the track Tuesday, he cashed in on that opportunity and won the 1,500 metres in three minutes 34.08 seconds, beating Leonel Manzano of the United States by 0.71 seconds. Abdalaati Iguider of Morocco got the bronze in 3:35.13.

"Yesterday I was out and today I was in. I dedicate this to all the people of Algeria and the Arab world," he said.

On Monday, the race referee in the 800 metres, Makhloufi's other event, kicked him out of the Olympics, judging he was guilty of "failure to compete honestly with bona fide effort."

He may have simply been conserving energy for Tuesday night's 1,500 final, but the Algerian coaches insisted Makhloufi pulled out of the 800 because of a knee injury. When a doctor examined the runner and said the injury was genuine, Olympic officials revoked the DQ and allow him to start in the 1,500.

American women set for 200m showdown

Sanya Richards-Ross of the U.S. outleaned Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica to win their 200m semifinal heat in 22.30 seconds, setting up a showdown for the title between two women who both already are bringing home gold from the Olympics.

The final is Wednesday, and there will be quite a field lining up alongside 400 champion Richards-Ross and 100 champion Fraser-Pryce, who ran her semifinal in 22.34.

Two-time defending 200 champion Veronica Campbell-Brown of Jamaica, and two-time runner-up Allyson Felix of the U.S. won their semifinals. Also advancing: 100 silver medalist Carmelita Jeter of the U.S.

Campbell-Brown took Heat 1 in 22.32 seconds, with Jeter 0.07 behind. Felix, who owns three world titles in the 200, won Heat 2 in 22.31.

Hurdler's Games ruined by injury, again

The morning session was overshaodwed by former champion Liu Xiang's exit in his first heat of the 110-metre hurdles for the second Olympics in a row, clutching the same right Achilles tendon that had already doomed his chances at the 2008 Beijing Games.

It left one of the signature races of the games without one of its main characters. Liu's challenge to defending champion Dayron Robles and U.S. hurdler Aries Merritt had been shaping as one of the highlights of the games.

But Liu's hopes for a second gold are over, for at least another four years.

"The initial assessment of medical experts is a suspected ruptured Achilles tendon," Chinese team leader Feng Shuyong said, adding that "the injury should be quite serious."

Liu won in 2004 at Athens to become the first Chinese man to claim an Olympic track and field gold medal, but shocked the home crowd in Beijing four years later when he had to withdraw in his heat without clearing a hurdle because of a right foot problem which later required surgery.

Other Canadian track results:

  • Derek Drouin of Corunna, Ont., captured a bronze medal in the men’s high jump, the first Canadian to do so since Greg Joy did it at the 1976 Montreal Olympics.
  • Michael Mason, Nanoose Bay, B.C., finished eighth in the men’s high jump.
  • Toronto's Aaron Brown and Jared Connaughton of New Haven, P.E.I., both advanced to the semifinals of the men's 200m. Tremaine Harris, Markham, Ont., finished fifth in his heat and failed to qualify.
  • Halifax's Geoff Harris finished seventh the semifinals of the men's 800m and did not advance.
  • Nikkita Holder, of Pickering, Ont., finished sixth in her semifinal heat and failed to qualify for the final of the women’s 100m hurdles.
  • Toronto’s Crystal Emmanuel, finished seventh in hear of the women’s 200m semifinals and failed to qualify.
  • Sheila Reid, of Newmarket, Ont., finished 15th during the opening round of the second heat in the women’s 5,000m and failed to qualify.
  • Vancouver’s Elizabeth Gleadle finished sixth the first group of the opening round in the women’s javelin and qualified.

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