Pearson robbed of showdown with American rival at IAAF Melbourne meet

HELENSVALE hurdler Sally Pearson won’t get the re-match she’s been waiting for at this Saturday’s Melbourne World Challenge.

The Olympic gold medalist had been hoping for another showdown with American rival Nia Ali, who won the 100-metre hurdles at the recent world indoor championships in Poland.

But Ali has confirmed, she won’t be attending the weekend meet.


The Sydney Morning Herald reports, Pearson had expressed her desire to get one over Ali after her performance in Poland, where she started poorly in the final.

Australian Athletics executive officer Dallas O’Brien expressed his frustration after promotion for the high-profile match-up was well underway and said the event had been left in the lurch.

“It’s very disappointing, and to be honest frustrating, to hear that Nia has chosen to withdraw from competing at the IAAF Melbourne World Challenge,” O’Brien said.

“We made the announcement of her start (on Sunday) following regular conversation with her management and given the lateness of the decision it will be difficult to replace her with an athlete of equal calibre.”