Time disappointing but Sally still in class of her own
THE dress rehearsal didn't go completely to plan but Sally Pearson is confident come April things will be a lot smoother.
In her first race on the Commonwealth Games track, the reigning 100m hurdles world champion was forced to deal with a delayed start to the event, which she admitted later played a part in what she deemed a disappointing time.
Pearson was never troubled to claim her 16th national title, clocking 12.73sec with Sydney's Michelle Jenneke second (13.14sec) and Brianna Beahan third (13.16sec).
The drama at the start of the race was caused by Victorian Daniela Roman who false-started.
However, she disputed the judge's decision and refused to leave the track for several minutes.
"It's a bit disappointing with the result," Pearson said.
"It has been a tough few weeks training so I'm really proud I got out here today and put on somewhat of a good show.
"It was disappointing with the interruption because I was ready to run fast but these things happen, they can happen at the Commonwealth Games, it can happen at majors anywhere so you've got to keep your focus, keep your cool and do the best job that can be done."
Pearson revealed she'd missed key training sessions in the lead-up to the selection trials which had caused her some frustration.
"I've just missed a few sessions here and there, just some colds which have interrupted things," she said.
"I've missed three or four really important sessions but if I take that all into consideration I should be really good in two weeks time for the world indoor championships.
"But what is most important is the Commonwealth Games and being able to perform well here.
"I'm looking forward to the next eight weeks until I race at the Commonwealth Games and hopefully I'll get some good sessions in and perform even better."
The hometown girl was impressed with the atmosphere in the stadium and the quickness of the new Carrara track.
"I was actually really surprised with the crowd that turned out tonight, it was really nice to be able to feel maybe a little taste of what we're going to get at the Commonwealth Games," she said.
"The track is really good. I've raced on really fast tracks all around the world and this is certainly up there with some of the best so I'm looking forward to what April will bring."
The 2012 Olympic champion said she was confident the pressure of a home Games wasn't going to be an issue.
"I feel exactly the same, yes it's a home Games and that is exciting but I don't think like that," she said.
"In my head it is just another race and this Commonwealth Games could be anywhere in the world but it just happens to be here.
"I will be thinking like it's in any stadium in the world. I don't think I'll get overwhelmed by the situation as I have a lot of experience under my belt."
Pearson will lead a small Australian team to the world indoor championships in Birmingham next month which includes pole vaulters Kurtis Marschall and Nina Kennedy.