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Sally Pearson Out Of Rio Olympics After Hamstring Tear

Her fitness has proven to be the biggest hurdle of all.

29/06/2016 10:27 AM AEST | Updated July 15, 2016 12:56
David Gray / Reuters
Her Olympic hopes have been dashed at the last minute.

Sally Pearson is out of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

The defending 100m hurdles champ from London 2012 tore her hamstring while training on the Gold Coast and will have insufficient time to recover before the Olympics, which start on August 5.

Pearson won a surprise silver medal at Beijing 2008, and gave one of the most bubbly, hilarious interviews of all time immediately after. In April this year she told The Huffington Post Australia that she looks back at that interview and thinks it's awesome, as do we.

By London 2012, Pearson had cemented herself as one of Australia's most popular and vivacious sporting figures -- not to mention as the world's best hurdler. She duly won gold in London.

Since then, things have not gone so smoothly. Pearson recently withdrew from her last scheduled race in Europe to return home for training. She had raced three times in Europe this season but been well off the pace.

Mark Blinch / Reuters
Sally in London: Got there.... just.

The reason for the lack of form is twofold. Pearson was still recovering from a fall that shattered her wrist last June, and which ended her competitive year. She has also been plagued by an Achilles tendon problem in 2016.

The hamstring injury is the latest blow. The seriousness of the injury is not yet clear, but it's definitely no Rio Games for Sally.

Whether the 29-year-old presses on with her track career remains to be seen, though she has in the past expressed a strong desire to compete at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. Pearson is a Gold Coast resident.

Ten days before Wednesday's hamstring injury, Pearson posted a revealing blog about her injuries. It makes you stop and think about what these people go through. Here's a sample:

This has been a big year. Broken Bones, torn calf, degenerative Achilles and hammy problems and that's just with me. Sometimes I wonder why I still continue to do this sport. What brings athletes back even after we get pushed down time and time again from disappointment?

For me, it's the excitement, the fun and the pure determination that I can overcome the setbacks and still deliver my best. It amazes me on so many levels that with all the different personalities there are in sport, and yet at no matter what level you compete on we are all so similar at the same time. There is never a reason to feel alone because there is always someone who is feeling or has been through what you are feeling or have done.

I have just recently arrived back home from Europe after 3 races. To be honest I was a little disappointed with my results and also disappointed that my body was letting me down a little.

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