Pearson fastest qualifier to hurdles final

Defending champions Danielle Williams and her three Jamaican teammates have failed to advance to the final of the women’s 100-metre hurdles at the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London on Friday.

“Unfortunately I hit the first hurdle and I just had to readjust”, she said.

After their clean sweep of the medals at the Olympics, even without Harrison, the US hurdlers feel they could emulate that achievement with Harper Nelson, Olympic silver medalist Nia Ali and heat victor Christina Manning also qualifying easily.

The American recovered well enough to claim the last available qualifying berth in 12.86, sneaking through by one hundredth of a second.

Manning won in 12.71, while the Williams, who had the second fastest time following the fist round in the morning session, crossed the finish line in a disappointing 13.14.

Pearson looked tense and focused before the race, not acknowledging the crowd when her name was called, but was hugely impressive quickly overhauling early leader Jamaican champion Megan Simmonds and opening a sizeable lead.

Her semi-final time was a full tenth of a second quicker than the next fastest set by her longtime rival, Dawn Harper-Nelson from the United States (12.63).

Pearson won the heat in 12.53 seconds, .24 seconds faster than Nia Ali of the United States.

World-record holder Kendra Harrison was also in that heat.

Harrison’s problems started as she hit the first hurdle and dropped to seventh and it was only her determination and class that saw her get back into contention to fight her way back to third and just make the final.

After leading home another Olympic champion, the 2008 victor American Dawn Harper Nelson, who also qualified for Friday evening’s semi-finals in 12.88, Pearson reflected on her resurgent form after being unable to defend her Olympic title in Rio through injury.