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No more nerves for Pearson's coach
Crystal Ja
00:49 AEST Tue Aug 7 2012

Sick in the stomach beforehand, coach Sharon Hannan has no more lingering nerves following Sally Pearson's slashing 100m hurdles heat in London.

Pearson, 25, qualified fastest overall for the semi-finals with a run of 12.57 seconds, the fastest heat time in Olympic history.

Hannan admitted being a bundle of nerves before the race.

"There was a little unknown in the track ... and a bit of anxiousness about whether she'd maintain rhythm or get too close to a hurdle," said Hannan.

"I turned to the doctor in the athletes' seating area and said 'I think I need a pacemaker.

"But I asked her a few times just to use that race ... as a feel for the track. And she did that. So I'm not nervous anymore."

Hannan said Pearson still had room to improve before Tuesday's semis, having clipped hurdle eight before "popping" over the next.

"So her tail-end of the race was a little slower than last year (at the world championships in Dague, Korea), but she won't do that again," Hannan said.

Pearson's squad of experts had already downloaded footage and data to analyse before the semis.

Of Pearson's rivals, Americans Kellie Wells and Lolo Jones look the biggest threats after clocking 12.69 and 12.68 in winning their respective heats.

Teammate and defending Olympic champion Dawn Harper also easily made it through.

"I haven't seen a single solitary hurdler in training since we've been here, so it's hard to know what sort of shape they're in," Hannan said.

"But I know that no matter how fast the track is I'm quite sure (Sally's) technique is going to hold up and that's the main thing for us."

The big casualty of the opening round was 2009 world champion Brigette Foster-Hylton, who smashed into the fifth barrier in the same heat as Pearson.

The Australian was spied afterwards helping the distraught Jamaican through the athlete's mixed zone, with a supporting arm to hold her up.

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