She has been the eternal bridesmaid, the girl who never won gold at the majors.

Sally Pearson, the Australian Olympic silver medallist, was a favourite for the 100m hurdles gold at the Berlin Worlds last year. But a back injury saw her finish fifth.

At the last Games in Melbourne, Pearson tripped over a hurdle in the final and went without a medal. “I want this very badly. I want to get my first title,” she said soon after landing here the other day. “It's time for me to win my races. I want to get my first title here and go on to the Olympics.”

Well, she has been busy watching the developments in the 100m flat too and has been ticking off the fast girls as they pulled out, one by one.

Shocking move

And now, in a shocking move, the 24-year-old has decided to have a go at the fastest woman title, apart from the sprint hurdles.

Pearson, who has a personal best of 11.14s, last ran both the events three years ago at the Osaka Worlds. And with the favourite here, Blessing Okagbare, pulling out at the last minute, the Australian could go from these Games on a very happy note.

Blessing, the recent African Championship's fastest women and Olympic long jump bronze medallist, had been competing in recent meets despite an injury, said Igwe Tobias, Nigeria's sprints coach.

“Without her, we have a big vacuum in our team,” said Tobias at the Games Village on Wednesday evening.

“But watch out for our Osayemi (African Championship bronze medallist) and Osasuwa,” he said. “They will take the medals.”

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