Olympic and world 100m hurdles gold medallist announces decision to hang up her spikes as her body “has decided it is time to let it go”

Australia’s 100m hurdles star Sally Pearson has announced her decision to retire after a 16-year athletics career.

The London 2012 Olympic and two-time world gold medallist said her body “has decided it is time to let it go”.

The 32-year-old battled through a number of injury setbacks during her long and successful career but now feels the time has come to hang up her spikes and “move forward onto a new direction”.

READ MORE: Sally Pearson: Overcoming hurdles

After winning world gold in 2011 and her Olympic title in 2012, Pearson sustained two hamstring tears in 2013 and 2014, though still managed to retain her Commonwealth title in Glasgow plus win world indoor and outdoor silver medals.

In 2015 she tore her calf at the Rome Diamond League which caused her to crash to the track and shatter her wrist. Achilles and hamstring problems then forced her to miss the Olympic Games in Rio but, self-coached, she returned to major competition in style by storming to her second world title in London the following year.

Pearson was dealt another blow in 2018 as a flare up of an Achilles injury led to her withdrawing from her home Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.

The Australian athletics team co-captain described not being able to compete as “gut-wrenching” and “heartbreaking”.

READ MORE: Sally Pearson withdraws from Gold Coast Commonwealth Games

“I am here to let you all know that I have decided to retire from my sport of athletics,” Pearson said in a statement posted on social media.

“It has been a long 16 years, but also a fun and exciting 16 years.

“My body has decided it is time to let it go, and move forward onto a new direction.

“I hope I have made you proud Australia.”

Pearson set her 100m hurdles PB of 12.28 when winning her world title in Daegu, with that time placing her sixth on the world all-time list.

The year 2011 also saw her named the IAAF world female athlete of the year, while she was awarded the Order of Australia Medal (OAM) in 2014 as recognition of her contribution to sport as a gold medallist at the London Olympic Games.

She won a total of 16 Australian titles in the 100m, 200m and 100m hurdles.

Pearson had recently been announced for the Great North CityGames on September 7, a street athletics event at which she claimed double success in 2013, first winning the 100m hurdles and then claiming 150m victory 75 minutes later.

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