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Pearson, Harper-Nelson lead way in 100 hurdles

From ESPN - August 12, 2017

LONDON -- Besieged by injuries, Sally Pearson missed nearly two years. Beleaguered by some bad results, Dawn Harper-Nelson has not been quite the same, either.

Yet there they were down the stretch, two Olympic 100-meter hurdles gold medalists vying for the title at the world championships on Saturday. Just like old times, they were reunited on the podium, with Pearson taking first and Harper-Nelson winding up second, a couple of 30-somethings holding off the next wave of hurdlers.

"Toward the end, I could see Sally out of the corner of my eye. I was like, 'Of course it's me and her,'" the 33-year-old Harper-Nelson said. "But it was so sweet for it to be me and her, to come across the line. Silver tastes like gold, and Dawn is not laying her head down sad tonight."

These two have seen plenty of each other over the years. Harper-Nelson was the 2008 Beijing Games champion, with Pearson taking silver. Four years later at the London Olympics, the order was reversed.

They could have broken the tie at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, but neither earned a spot. Pearson was sidelined by a torn hamstring and Harper-Nelson simply did not run fast enough at trials to make the squad.

Heading into this season, Pearson could tell she was in title-chasing condition. After all, she felt that "spark" while training.

"I knew I could get here," the Australian said.

So did Harper-Nelson, especially after she made a talent-rich team at the U.S. championships.

This is, after all, the team that swept the medals at the Olympics last year and placed four women in this year's final, three of whom were not on the team for Rio. They were Harper-Nelson, Christina Manning and the world-record holder, Kendra Harrison.

But there would be no repeat. Pearson spoiled those plans by finishing in 12.59 seconds, 0.04 ahead of Harper-Nelson. Pamela Dutkiewicz of Germany edged Harrison for the bronze by .002 seconds.

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