Pearson struggles in 1st race after injury, Harrison wins
BIRMINGHAM, England (AP) Sally Pearson finished seventh in her first competitive 100-meter hurdles race in a year following a serious wrist injury, far behind an up-and-coming American who looks in prime shape to take the Australian's Olympic title.
Kendra Harrison won in 12.46 seconds at the Diamond League event in sunny Birmingham on Sunday, showing her stunning victory in Eugene last week - in 12.24, the second-fastest time ever - was no one-off.
Pearson trailed home in 13.25, a time she described as ''disgusting,'' but she had a good excuse. It's a year and a day since she suffered what doctors said was a ''bone explosion'' in her wrist in a heavy fall in a race in Rome, and Pearson hadn't raced since. She was also running with a left hamstring niggle.
''I'm actually really excited, which I wouldn't normally be because all I'd be looking at would be the result,'' said Pearson, who has two months to get her best form back for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
Harrison is already in the zone.
At 23 and in her first full season as a professional, she is one of the United States' best track talents heading into Rio, coming within 0.03 seconds of the long-standing world record last week. Harrison beat compatriot Brianna Rollins (12.57) in an American 1-2-3-4.
''To be doing as well as I am, I'm just really blessed,'' Harrison said.
Home favorite Mo Farah got the biggest cheer of the day after breaking the British record to win the 3,000 in 7 minutes, 32.62 seconds. Farah, who now holds his country's best times from 1,500 through to 10,000, bookended his performance with some shadow-boxing in honor of his sporting hero Muhammad Ali, the boxing great who died on Saturday at age 74.
''He is making me nervous that he is now going to focus on the 800m, which is the only record he hasn't got in this range,'' said IAAF President Sebastian Coe, who was at Birmingham for the meeting and still holds the British 800 record. ''And I wouldn't rule it out!''
Among the other winners at the Alexander Stadium in central England were Olympic champion Kirani James, who ran the 400 in 44.23 - one of six meet records on the day, according to organizers. Kim Collins, the 40-year-old sprinter, clocked 10.11 to win a weak men's 100 field, and Kenya's Asbel Kiprop won the men's 1500 in a world-leading time of 3.29.35.
Olympic long-jump champion Greg Rutherford's year-long unbeaten record ended when he finished fifth, behind U.S. jumper Marquise Goodwin (8.42m).
Rutherford tweeted that he was struggling with ''bad whiplash'' after hurting his neck in winning in Rome in midweek.